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by Simon Black

We live in extraordinary times where deep economic uncertainty rules the day. It's unfortunate
that the mass of Americans sit naively by, worried about their future, but unable or unwilling to
do anything to protect themselves from the errors of their government's out-of-control economic

If you're reading this, you're probably different. You see the writing on the wall and you've
probably already taken steps to protect yourself from current and future economic upheaval.

At the time of writing, US Government deficit spending is expected to reach $9,000,000,000,000

over the next 10 years. Trillions more in private wealth have been wiped away in the last two
years, but the worst may be yet to come.

The purpose of this report is to aid productive savers by illustrating several ways you can better
ensure the security and purchasing power of your savings. We believe privately secured gold is
is one of the world’s best savings vehicles because the value of gold keeps in step with infla-
tion... so you can be sure that an ounce of gold will generally buy the same basket of goods in
2050 as it does today.

As such, one of the main reasons for accumulating gold as a savings instrument is to mitigate
sovereign risk-- risk that governments and central banks will confiscate wealth by devaluing the
currency and running mind boggling deficits.

Additionally, I've long believed that exchange controls will eventually return to the developed
world, specifically in the United States and Western Europe. Struggling to find buyers of their
debt, these governments will likely impose strict penalties for net outflows and retail currency

Unfortunately, most people will be too broke, too stupid, or too distracted to care that their sav-
ings are trapped in a rapidly depreciating currency within a federalized, bankrupt financial sys-
tem. You are clearly not one of these people or you wouldn’t be reading this.

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Moving some money out of your home country now makes a lot of sense; if you keep all of your
wealth within one country, particularly where you live or your business is based, you are com-
pletely exposed to exchange controls, tax confiscation, litigation, extortion, etc.

Opening a foreign bank account is certainly one approach, but gold presents an interesting al-
ternative because it effectively exists outside of the financial system.

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Leaving with your gold

When you hold cash, either in a bank or in token amounts of a few thousand dollars, transac-
tions are reported to the government. Banks, brokers, real estate agents, car salesmen, etc. are
essentially unpaid government agents, forced to report on their customers' financial activities.

Turning paper currency into gold privatizes wealth; to most governments, gold is just personal
property, like stamps, a wardrobe of tailored suits, or action figure collectibles.

Sure, you can probably bury a safe in your backyard... not exactly an elegant solution, but it
could work-- that is, of course, until you need to leave and exchange controls have been imple-

Internationalization is a much better solution-- storing your gold overseas is the ultimate insur-
ance policy against government meddling and wealth confiscation. Additionally, because most
countries do not recognize gold as a monetary instrument (at least based on its market value),
gold can be moved freely and privately across most borders.

In the United States, the law requires that an individual is required to report if s/he is leaving
the country with more than $10,000, or foreign equivalent, in monetary instruments. So what is
a monetary instrument? Domestic and foreign currency, travelers checks in any form, money
orders, negotiable instruments, stock certificates, or any investment securities in bearer form.

If you leave (or enter) the United States with more than $10,000 in monetary instruments, you
must fill out form FinCen 105, which you can ask for upon arrival or departure.

Gold bars and coins are not included on this list. One-ounce American Eagle coins have a face
value of $50, therefore theoretically 200 Eagle coins would meet the $10,000 threshold. Of
course, it is not illegal to depart the country with more than $10,000-- you simply have to de-
clare the money... so if you are nervous or in doubt about leaving the country with your gold,
just ask for the form.

In Canada, the rules are essentially the same. Entering or leaving the country with more than
C$10,000 or foreign equivalent in monetary instruments must be declared to Canada Border
Services Agency (CBSA) on form E667.

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The Simple Strategies
We recognize some of our readers are more advanced than others so, let's start with the easy
strategies for buying and storing gold overseas. If you currently have no assets located outside
your home country and want an easy way to safely buy and store gold overseas, you might love
the Perth Mint Certificate (PMC) program and Both of these programs are
designed for ease of use, quick implementation, and can be set up without having to leave your
home. [Advanced subscribers are encouraged to skip this section]

The Perth Mint Certificate: Easy to Buy & Sell with Government Guarantee

The Perth Mint was founded as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint in 1899. At the time, gold sov-
ereigns and half sovereigns were used throughout the British Empire as everyday circulating
coins and it was the Royal Mint’s responsibility to supply them.

Rather than shipping gold to London and then distributing them back to Britain’s colonies, the
Royal Mint built a number of branch mints throughout the Empire in places where gold was
found. The Perth Mint was one of these – built to refine gold mined in Western Australia and
turn it into sovereigns. When sovereigns were withdrawn from circulation in 1931, the Mint
used its skills in the production of other coins, while still continuing to refine gold. It remained
under British ownership until 1970 when control passed to the Western Australian Government,
who owns it to this day.

Today, The Perth Mint facilitates investment in precious metals not only by supplying coins and
bars, but by also offering a unique investment vehicle, The Perth Mint Certificate (PMC). The
PMC is a reliable, secure and flexible precious metals program available to global investors
seeking discreet alternative investments.

Ownership of certificates conveys all the benefits of precious metals ownership without the
transport and security problems associated with physical bullion. If you're looking for an extra
blanket of security, you might like the fact that PMC is the only Government guaranteed pre-
cious metals storage program out there.

Best of all, if you just feel the need to take some action quickly, PMCs make that possible. They
are easy to purchase and simple to liquidate.

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Perth Mint Certificates must be purchased through an authorized dealer.

If gold ever does replace paper money, we're convinced 'sound money' pioneer James Turk will
play a big part in it. In 2001 James Turk founded which gives it's customers
one of the easiest ways to buy and hold gold.

Perhaps you've heard of or other electronic gold storage services before. Sev-
eral have popped up in the last few years, but we believe GoldMoney is the best due to their
governance policies and transparency.

When you purchase precious metals through your GoldMoney account, you actually hold and
own the metal in your name. GoldMoney is not a "paper gold" product, which means that your
gold ownership is not dependent upon an exchange traded fund's (ETF's), certificate issuer's or
pool account operator's ability to obtain and redeem metal for you when you want to sell it.

Nearly all of these types of "paper metal" programs work on a fractional reserve basis, so if the
majority of the program's customer wanted to redeem their metal for cash, the program opera-
tor would not be able to meet all of its obligations. In other words, "paper metal" products rep-
resent merely a promise to pay metal; they are not products that give you direct ownership of
metal, and therefore expose you to counterparty risk since you are dependent upon the pro-
gram issuer's ability to meet all of its obligations.

Contrary to the fractional reserve nature of "paper metal" programs, the quantity of customer
metals recorded in GoldMoney's database is always equal to the quantity of metals in the
vaults. This one-to-one ratio is a critical part of GoldMoney's governance model.

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GoldMoney: Securely stored, insured and independently audited

The gold bullion purchased through GoldMoney is stored securely at the VIA MAT vaults in
London, England and Zurich, Switzerland. VIA MAT International is part of Mat Securitas Ex-
press AG, of Switzerland, one of Europe's largest and oldest armored transport and storage
companies. Your gold and silver are insured against theft from the vault.

Administration of all metals is provided by an independent party (Andium Trust Company

Limited) that safeguards your metal by making sure gold is only removed from the vaults un-
der the direction of its owners, i.e., GoldMoney's customers.

A Big Four accounting firm annually audits GoldMoney's operational procedures as well as the
precious metal bar inventory at the vaults and metal circulating electronically in our system.
GoldMoney customers who have completed the account opening process can obtain the latest
SAS 70 Type II report upon request.

As a bonus, GoldMoney has a patented process for making and receiving digital gold currency
payments. Maybe someday you'll be paying all your bills and collecting your salary in secure
and insured digital GoldMoney instead of the "backed by nothing" dollars you use right now.

The process of opening a GoldMoney account is much like opening a bank account. Recently,
GoldMoney made their process more simple. If you live in the United States or the United
Kingdom, you can do the entire process online in about 15min.

To open an GoldMoney account go to

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European Location: Vienna, Austria

Why Austria

If you find yourself frequenting Europe, you should definitely consider Austria as a jurisdiction
to store gold and silver. Austria has a long, well-tested tradition of privacy. The country is
among the most civilized in the world-- free of corruption with a modern
infrastructure. Banking privacy is safeguarded with the same legal author-
ity as its constitution, so the country would certainly be among the last in
Europe to begin mass confiscation.

Austrian Gold and Silver

In 1192 AD, King Richard the Lionheart of England was shipwrecked off the
Italian coast while on his way home from the Crusades. With only four at-
tendants at his side, Richard was forced to take a dangerous land route
through Central Europe in order to return home. He disguised himself as a
Knight Templar in order to maintain secrecy, but the ruse did not last. Rich-
ard was captured near Vienna shortly before Christmas of that year.

In this case, the king’s ransom was 100,000 ‘marks silver’, roughly $3 billion in 2009 dollars...
the money was raised through a series of taxes and confiscations in England, and Richard was
released on February 4, 1194 after roughly 14 months of captivity.

With so much silver at their disposal, the Austrians founded a mint to produce and circulate
coins; the Austrian mint survives to this day, producing the ‘Philharmonic’ (similar to the
American Eagle coin), one of the most popular coins in the world.

Today, the mint produces roughly 350,000 ounces of gold and silver coins each year and adjusts
its production according to customer demand. In September 2008, for example, the mint pro-
duced and sold 100,000 ounces of gold coins in that month alone.

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The Philharmonic coin is struck in four sizes at 999.9 weight-- 31.103 grams (1 troy oz), 15.552
grams (.5 troy oz), 7.776 grams (.25 troy oz), and 3.121 grams (.10 troy
oz). Each carries legal tender face value of 100 euro, 50 euro, 25 euro,
and 10 euro respectively.

The Austrian mint also produces a one troy ounce silver Philhar-
monic coin, as well as gold bars in 1 gram, 2 gram, 5 gram, 10 gram,
20 gram, 50 gram, 100 gram, 250 gram, 500 gram, and 1000 gram

How to buy coins

Philharmonics and gold bars can be purchased at the Austrian Mint’s shop in Vienna (Am
Heumarkt 1), Innsbruck (Adamgasse 2). Coins and bars cannot be purchased on the mint’s

Also, virtually every bank in Austria sells Philharmonics, usually kept behind the cashier’s sta-
tion near the bank tellers. Larger banks tend to keep more inventory, so if you’re looking to
make large purchases, try main branches in the downtown area of Vienna like Bank Austria or
Raiffeisen Zentralbank.

Where to store gold and silver in Austria

Vienna is home to a fantastic facility called Das Safe (, located at Auersperg-
strasse 1 near the city center.

Das Safe provides anonymous safety deposit boxes starting at 400 euro ($560) per year, and
anonymous means anonymous… all you have is the box key and a PIN code to access the se-
cure room.

To be honest, you will feel a little bit like Jason Bourne when you walk into the place; the facility
is completely secure and monitored at all times, though video surveillance is not recorded so
you need not worry about your privacy.

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I have done business with Das Safe in the past and find their level of service and professional-
ism to be spectacular; if you want to move your bullion offshore and make sure that no one
knows about it, Das Safe is for you.

If, on the other hand, you don’t care about anonymity, Austrian banks will be happy to rent you
a safety deposit box regardless of your nationality.  They do require a photo ID, but the costs
start at 65 euro ($90) per year for a small box.

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European Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Why Bulgaria

Seriously... why Bulgaria? Do they even have running water there? Is it safe? Is there electricity?

I jest, but these are the types of questions I get from time to time when I tell people I am travel-
ing to certain places-- Bulgaria, Colombia, Cambodia, Angola, etc. And because the rest of the
world has such a poor perception of these countries, they are exactly the kinds of places I want
to be.

Ten years ago people would have thought you were crazy to invest in Russia, China, Brazil, or
India. Today you can’t watch an hour of CNBC without one of those countries being mentioned.

I believe that Bulgaria, in particular, has a bright future in the long term. It is by far the lowest
on the totem pole in the European Union; the cost of labor is exceptionally cheap, and the tax
rates are extraordinarily low, especially for European standards. At a 10% flat rate (though pos-
sible to go up sometime in 2010 or 2011), the country is attracting a wealth of capital. This makes
Bulgaria an increasingly attractive place for finance.

Where to store gold in Bulgaria

Multinational banks have opened branches there; I would suggest Raiffeisen Bank, which has
four branches in Sofia with safe deposit boxes.

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Asia Location: Dubai

Why Dubai

Before the emirates were united, merchants in the tiny settlement of Dubai were trading gold
with Indians and Persians across the gulf. The emirate’s gold tradition is woven in the fabric of
the culture; known as the ‘City of Gold,’ Dubai is still famous today for its bustling gold souk
where over 10 tons of gold is present at any given time.

Moreover, the country’s currency, the dirham, is pegged to the US dollar... so locals can see their
purchasing power evaporate in step with Americans’. Consequently, Emiratis have been long-
time precious metals investors in order to maintain the purchasing power of their savings.

Dubai Gold

Dubai is well on its way to establishing itself as a global financial center; the emirate has already
positioned itself as the financial and business hub of the Middle East, which was further solidi-
fied with the opening of the Dubai Multiple Commodities Centre (DMCC), the region’s most
established commodities exchange.

In 2007, DMCC launched Dubai’s first-ever commemorative gold coin,

“Visions of Dubai,” which was cast at 916 fineness (22 carat) in 1 ounce,
1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce, and 1/10 ounce units.

How to buy gold

The easiest way to buy gold in Dubai is to visit the famous Gold Souk in Deira, which has over
300 merchants crammed within just a few city blocks competing to provide the best price. Pre-
miums are among the lowest in the world in Dubai, which is more than made up for by the
sheer volume of transactions.

In my experience, the best time to visit the Gold Souk is in the evening after sunset; most of the
tourists will have gone home and your chances of finding a merchant willing to make a deal be-

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fore he heads home increase dramatically. Additionally, while credit cards are accepted, you
will get a much better deal by paying in cash.

Where to store gold and silver in Dubai

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), one of the largest banks in the Middle East, rents safety de-
posit boxes to foreigners, including Americans, starting at 350 dirham per year (about $97). You
need a passport to rent a box.

There is also a private storage facility in Dubai called JFT Lockers, located between the BNP
Paribas Bank building and NBAD Bank. Like Das Safe in Vienna, JFT lockers exists outside of
the banking system. The facility has a dedicated private viewing room and is located in Dubai,
which, let’s face it, basically has zero crime.

Their hours are a bit strange-- 9am to 1pm, and 5pm to 9pm, closed Friday (which is the holy
day in the Muslim world).

To rent a box at JFT, you will need a registration form, passport, and a second form of ID. Prices
start at about $150 per year not including the security deposit.

For more information, visit

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Asia Location: Singapore

Why Singapore

Singapore has among the most stable, lease corrupt and transparent financial systems in the
world. It truly is the gold standard for finance, if you’ll pardon the pun.

How to buy gold

Nearly every bank in Singapore has a precious metals counter where you can buy and sell coins
and bars in various denominations ranging from a few grams to ounce coins to kilogram bars.
The downside of buying gold in Singapore is that you have to pay the Goods and Services Tax
(GST), which tacks on an additional 5% to the price.

Singapore’s banks have figured out a way around this and are now offering“Gold and Silver
savings account programs that are slightly similar to You can also open an ac-
count with a bank like UOB and buy/sell unallocated gold at prevailing market prices (plus a
premium). Your account is thus denominated in ‘grams’ instead of dollars. The transactions, as
well as your gains, are not subject to Singapore’s GST.

Where to store gold and silver in Singapore

Most banks in Singapore have long waiting lists for safety deposit boxes; a better solution is to
go with a private storage facility like Cisco Certis .

I’ve personally been to one of their facilities in Singapore and can attest to how strong the secu-
rity is. Rates are quite reasonable, and the company runs occasional promotions like 1 free year
when you refer a friend.

For a ‘small’ box of 5”x5”x24”, you may pay as little as $70 (US) per year, which will be big
enough for over 2,000 one ounce Eagle coins, or roughly 150 kilogram bars.

For more information, visit

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Asia Location: Hong Kong

Why Hong Kong

By many counts, Hong Kong is still the most economically free place on the globe, and the is-
land can still hide behind the emerging power of China should any annoying foreign authorities
come knocking at the door.

How to buy gold

Swing a dead cat. You can buy gold everywhere in Hong Kong-- banks, jewelry shops, mint
stores... you name it, you can find gold there.

Where to store gold and silver in Hong Kong

There are several banks that rent safety deposit boxes to foreigners with little hassle, but their
inventory of available boxes is always fluctuating. I’ve worked with NCB Bank before, but your
best bet is to call in advance.

Hong Kong also has private storage options available, such as “The Storage,” which is a secure
facility located near the Sheung Wan metro and Bonham Strand West (if you know Hong Kong
you will know exactly where I am talking about).

The Storage is very reasonably priced starting at less than $100 (US) per year, and has excellent
security. For more information, go to

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Latin America Location: Panama

Why Panama

Panama works well for many people because of its open financial system, pro-business gov-
ernment, and close proximity to North America. If you expect to be coming and going quite a
bit, it’s easier to be a 3-hours away than 30-hours away. For me personally, I would choose
some of the other locations over Panama-- I feel more comfortable with a lower crime and cor-
ruption level in Dubai, Singapore, and Vienna than Panama.

Where to store gold and silver in Panama

Gold storage in Panama is a hot item. Banks have long waiting lists for safety deposit boxes,
and as I’ve discussed before, many Panamanian banks are even starting to eliminate this serv-
ice, reducing the available supply of boxes on the market.

There is a relatively new facility in Panama City called “Best Safety Boxes”. In full disclosure, as
of mid-January 2010 I have not seen the facility yet, so I cannot vouch for its security... but given
Panama’s popularity with so many North Americans, I at least wanted to let you know about
this facility.

Prices are more expensive than some of the other facilities I have mentioned previously in this
report, starting at about $350/year for a small box to over $1,000/year for a large box.

You can also rent a box in conjunction with purchasing a Panamanian Corporation for addi-
tional anonymity and estate planning, though consult with your tax advisor before doing this.

For more information, go to

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Transportation Methods

So once you decide to go international and have selected your jurisdiction, how do you move it?

One of the most cost effective options is international parcel. Send your gold via FEDEX, just as
you would jewelry... you can insure your shipment against loss. Retail price to ship 50 one-
ounce coins (roughly 3 pounds of gold) via FEDEX from the US to Panama, fully insured, runs
about 500 dollars, or $10 per coin. You can even order through the US Mint (
and have the coins delivered overseas, perhaps to your hotel when you know you will be in
Dubai or Austria.

Another option is to ship with Dubai-based Emirates Airlines, which will fly gold, insured, to/
from any of the locations in their route network. As of the end of 2009, this consists of over 90
destinations on six continents. In North America, this includes Houston, New York, Toronto,
San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The airline will even arrange for a secure escort should you re-
quire that.

Rates are quite reasonable, and they can be contacted by email at

Another option is to actually fly them down yourself. I’ve already discussed the reporting regu-
lations in the US and Canada-- gold, as we regrettably know, is not considered legal tender or
currency there, so carrying it on a plane is a permissible, cost-effective approach to transport,
particularly if you have reason to travel to that jurisdiction anyway.

One thing to watch out for-- just because you do not have to declare gold as a monetary instru-
ment upon departing the United States or Canada, there are certain countries that require you to
declare upon entry-- Taiwan and Uruguay are two of these countries.

Since laws change all the time, make sure you check your departing and arrival country’s cus-
toms information before the trip.

Neither this free ebook, the Notes from the Field email communication, nor content posted to the website is intended to provide personal financial advice. Before undertaking any action described in this
letter, financial or otherwise, you should discuss your options with a qualified advisor-- accountant, financial plan-
ner, attorney, priest, IRS auditor, Tim Geithner... Also, nothing published in this book constitutes encouragement
to avoid or evade tax obligations in your home country.

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