The assault on our liberties and wealth seems to be coming faster.
Just in the past few years, we’ve had Edward Snowden’s spying revelations, the new war on American passports waged by our own government, wealth confiscation overseas, FATCA, Greek banks shut down and the International Monetary Fund touting the need for a one-time wealth tax for countries to climb just partially out of debt.
And that’s only a small glimpse of what we’ve survived recently.
At The Sovereign Society, we are determined to stay one step ahead of these attacks, giving you the tools and information needed to protect yourself.
To do that, we’ve added a new voice to the Sovereign Investor Daily…
A Sovereign Ally
JL Yastine is the new Editorial Director for The Sovereign Society. I invited him in today for a quick interview to introduce him to Sovereign Investor Daily readers and to give you a peek at some the insights he will be bringing to readers each week.
Jocelynn: JL, can you tell us a little about yourself?
JL: Jocelynn, it’s exciting to come to work at The Sovereign Society. In many ways I feel like much of what I’ve done in my life has built up to this moment, and reflects everything our community of members is all about.
I’m originally a kid from the suburbs of northern New Jersey, but my family moved to Florida when I was young. We were pioneers of a sort. Back in the early 1970s, our little corner of the state was still fairly wild and undeveloped: No interstate highways, no McDonalds, no indoor shopping malls — but plenty of mosquitoes. Our home, though newly built, drew its water supply from an artesian well drilled on the property. We didn’t have a choice — there was no “city water” that far outside of town!
I took plenty of ribbing on all that when my New Jersey cousins came to visit, but you know what? Growing up as I did, with the good fortune of having two great parents, gave me an independence of thought and the comfort in taking action “outside the crowd” — a habit that stays with me to this day.
I received my first exposure to the stock market at age 6, when my dad showed me how to read the stock tables published in the back of the newspaper. I started investing for real in my late 20s, using the skills I learned as a local reporter, and later as a correspondent for many years at PBS Nightly Business Report: Keep your eyes and ears open to new ideas and new trends, research thoroughly and look for the winners and the losers in every story. What better way is there to invest or speculate?
Jocelynn: Has this habit of being “outside the crowd” helped to form your views when it comes to investing and travel?
JL: The difficult part, as independent-minded Sovereign Society members know, is being out of step with the consensus of opinion. For instance, right now, gold is about as out of favor as I’ve ever seen it. It takes courage to recommend it, as Jeff Opdyke has been doing, in the pages of Sovereign Investor. And it takes courage to buy it. But again, if there’s one thing that I learned in my reporting days, it’s that the biggest, most important stories often start with the tiniest of incidents. Investing works the same way.
Not all of our members are focused on investing, of course. I’m a huge fan of Ted and Bob Bauman for the same reasons as our members. Many are seeking, or already enjoying, an offshore lifestyle and the peace of mind that comes with retaining a portion of your wealth outside the United States. Having traveled for business or pleasure to places such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, the Cayman Islands, Guatemala, (and even Cuba several times), I’ve explored many of the same options.
Jocelynn: What does it mean to you to “be sovereign”?
JL: To me, it’s best defined as the tremendous power we all possess, through education and action, to alter the course of our own lives.
For instance, we’ve all faced challenges — health problems, career disappointments, lawsuits of one kind or another, not to mention a questionable economy.
Yet one investment idea, read on the pages of the Sovereign Investor, could change your entire future. So could educating yourself about your offshore options — opening a bank account in a foreign domicile or buying property for a second “home base” away from the States.
“Being sovereign” means being an active participant in your own affairs — educating yourself and taking responsibility for your personal status quo — instead of being a passive consumer of information.
What’s Ailing America
Jocelynn: What are some of your biggest concerns regarding the financial health of the U.S.?
JL: Let’s take the market first. We’re now in the seventh year of our current U.S. bull market. How much longer does anyone think an investment cycle like this could go on, without a large pullback in the least, or an honest-to-goodness bear market?
And you can’t listen to the talking heads on Wall Street. They’re vested in keeping the game going, nothing more. So when they talk about the Federal Reserve and Janet Yellen — will she raise interest rates or won’t she — it’s all about making us all feel secure and comfortable, and keeping our assets “parked” in U.S. stocks. Meanwhile, as Jeff Opdyke has been pointing out, great values go begging in beaten-down international markets.
Regarding America’s financial health, we have our work cut out. It only takes a glance at the headlines to see that nothing has changed in Washington, which is just as reckless in spending our tax dollars as ever. And the focus on the Federal Reserve as the “cure-all” for the economy is dangerous, and bound for disappointment.
The Fed’s headquarters may be clad in beautiful white marble, but at its center are people. They may be highly educated, but they suffer from the same human shortcomings as the rest of us. So to think that Janet Yellen or anyone else for that matter is going to “save us” from a system and pattern of ideas that’s 50 years in the making, is just plain wrong.
Jocelynn: I know that the growing number of attacks on our privacy is a significant concern of our readers. Do you think this will continue to be an issue?
JL: I believe it’s going to be the biggest societal battleground of the 21st century. But we can take action to repel — to counter-attack, if you will — the incursions of government and technology to access our private information.
Bob Bauman’s efforts to teach people how to use the offshore banking system is one of those counter-attacks. So is the creation of new legal precepts, such as the “right to be forgotten” when it comes to Internet search engines and the information those systems can display about our lives. Such laws are already on the books in Europe.
The Next Investing Opportunity
Jocelynn: What do you see as some of the biggest opportunities for Americans during the next 12 months?
JL: When it comes to investing, Europe, precious metals and emerging markets are prime areas to watch. Why? Well, just set aside geopolitical developments such as Greece and all the rest for a moment, and think about value and expectations. The proverbial “safe bet” is the U.S. stock market. But our market is already at full value and then some.
So where are expectations least? Well, ask yourself: Who in their right mind wants to invest in Europe? Why would anyone think about buying gold or mining equities? You couldn’t find two bigger conversation-killers to mention at a cocktail party. Which is precisely why we should pay attention to those sectors.
Our Growing Family
Faced with a government determined to infringe upon our rights while trying to keep a firm hand in our wealth, we must be willing to find new ways to protect ourselves, whether that’s through offshore investments, a second residence in a foreign country or even just taking more aggressive steps to protect our privacy online.
As such, The Sovereign Society will continue to add new experts, such as JL Yastine, who can provide excellent insight into the market and the tools you need in your efforts to be sovereign.
Sr. Managing Editor, Sovereign Investor Daily