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Normally I write each day regarding a subject that pertains to the big economic picture, today I would like to offer you a solution to investing funds offshore and doing it completely legally while you still can.  I would like to announce a “re” partnership between Miles Franklin and BFI, a wealth management group based in Switzerland.  To give you a little bit of background history, Miles Franklin was started back in 1990 and primarily introduced investors who were looking for non-dollar denominated investments to BFI and their access to “Swiss annuities.”  This partnership went on through the late 1990’s until David Schectman thought it was wise for his clients to switch gears and buy precious metals in the place of any sort of paper investments.  Miles Franklin and BFI did not part ways per se but did very little business together because the precious metals businesses of each overlapped the other.  The partnership at this point was at a lull with the exception of Miles Franklin’s ability to offer the vaulting facilities of BFI for anyone wanting Swiss storage.

Fast forward to today, David and Andy have decided to rekindle the partnership because they realized that many Miles Franklin customers have assets that they would like to be either invested or domiciled outside of the U.S. and this process has become very difficult.  As you may or may not know, many Swiss banks have been “firing” their American customers because of the burden of the new FATCA reporting law. BFI, however, continues to welcome American customers. They offer a full array of international wealth management services. Clients simply need to understand that, today, the requirements of reporting are a part of doing business. BFI helps them understand and meet the rules.

It is still completely legal to move assets or accounts “offshore.”  A growing number of investors are taking this route, but not in order to “hide” assets, to avoid taxes or for any other nefarious reason.  Investors simply do not want all of their assets in one “basket” (domicile). And they are looking for safety. Obviously, if you are reading this then the words “confiscation,” “capital controls,” “bail ins,” “asset tax” etc. have crossed your mind before.  The time to “get out of the system” as Jim Sinclair is so fond of saying is while it is still legal to do so and before any restrictions or capital controls are put in place.

But “why” would it ever be necessary to have capital outside of our own borders?  I will give you one example, and you can then use your own imagination for other examples.  Let’s assume that capital controls are put in place (which I firmly believe are coming).  Let’s also assume that under the new health care act you need a hip transplant, heart transplant, eye surgery or whatever and it is deemed that for whatever reason the surgery is denied.  Not only that, as I understand it, it may be illegal for a doctor to perform the surgery even if you could pay for it with a credit card, check or even cash…so what do you do?  Well, you could find a doctor at a respected health center outside of the U.S. and arrange for the surgery…but…how will you pay?  If capital controls are in place it may well be illegal to wire funds or move funds outside of the U.S.!  In this case you would be “stuck” and not able to pay with your good funds for a surgery that if not done will change the quality of your life.

So, with the above example, what good are millions of dollars if you cannot move them or use them?  It is for this reason and others similar that David and Andy have decided to re partner with BFI and offer this legal avenue of diversifying the geographical location where you hold your capital.  BFI has the ability to offer a broad array of wealth management solutions, including financial planning, references to trustee services, and investments from stocks and bonds to mutual funds from all over the world.  They also advise investors in regard to insurance and annuity solutions along with of course precious metals and vaulting capabilities.  The bottom line is that if you have a financial need and would like it to be done outside of the U.S., BFI can either perform the service or refer you to an institution that can.

I am excited about this partnership as I have spoken to many investors who have already been kicked out of their foreign bank or who would like to have some funds outside of the U.S. but have thrown up their hands in disgust because of obstacles.  BFI has been doing business with U.S. clients since 1990 and now, because of the obstacles already put in place for Americans wanting to do business overseas, they are actually specifically seeking the business of Americans.  As they put it, “Swiss banks have not abandoned this market because of Americans, it is because the reporting obstacles have grown higher than most banks are willing to scale.  We welcome the business.”

I would urge anyone who has even contemplated having and holding investments outside of the U.S. to call us at 800-822-8080.  We will answer any questions that you might have and introduce you to the folks at BFI who are very experienced at working to satisfy the financial needs of American (and Canadian) citizens.  This is still perfectly legal.  This is still an option.  It is possible or even probable in my opinion that legally moving your funds to a safe haven like Switzerland may at some point no longer be an option.