Peter Macfarlane reports on Offshore Banking, Offshore Investing and Asset Protection for Q Wealth Report.
The FDIC yesterday shut down seven more banks in five US states, bringing to 37 the number of bank failures in the U.S. so far this year, on top of the 140 that collapsed in 2009. The news was particularly bad for depositors of Advanta Bank in Utah, as regulators were unable to find another bank to take it over. Therefore anyone with deposits exceeding the FDIC insurance level of $250,000 loses the excess.
These Friday afternoon bank raids have become commonplace by now. What’s interesting, however, is that regulators, quoted by AP, are now saying that “The pace of bank seizures this year is likely to accelerate in coming months, as losses mount on loans made for commercial property and development.”
It was not many months ago here in Q Bytes that we warned you about the coming US commercial property bust, which will make the residential/sub-prime crisis look tiny in comparison.
The FDIC is planning to spend about $100 billion bailing out banks over the next four years. But get this: they will only deal in future with smaller bank failures. Legislation now in the senate proposes to set up a completely different system to cover failures of big, complex financial institutions. Besides, for reasons we’ve written about frequently including in the latest Q Wealth Report, we believe $100 billion will be nowhere near enough. The government printing presses will soon be rolling again, leading to further devaluations.
Our intention here at Q Wealth is not to scare you. In fact, we have always said that with careful planning and a little thought, there are numerous ways you can profit from the crisis… turn the crisis to your advantage.
First of all, our advice is to reduce dollar exposure. If you have savings, the first thing you need is a simple multi-currency bank account that allows you to switch currencies online. That way you maintain flexibility and privacy. Very few if any US banks offer multi currency accounts, so you’ll probably need to go to an offshore bank. While we do believe FDIC insurance will protect the dollar amounts in US bank accounts, what is the value of having the same amount of dollars in five years, if you can only buy half as much with those dollars?
Fortunately, the best offshore banks are a much safer place to stash your money. If your know how to choose an offshore bank carefully, you can avoid exposure to risky business practices which are bringing down so many US banks. And whilst a million will get you better service in a different class of bank, offshore banking is not just for millionaires. There are good offshore banks out there where you can test the waters by opening foreign currency accounts with $500 or less. Another myth, also untrue, is that US citizens cannot open offshore accounts. Full details of some of these recommended banks, including our list of offshore banks and contact information, can be found in our free Practical Offshore Banking Guide 2010 available to members.
The last laugh, however, is with the real estate speculators – whom many blame for causing the crisis. No matter what happens to financial markets, people will always need a place to live. When there is ‘blood in the streets’ there are bargains around. Our Q Wealth Expert and Real Estate Guru Thomas Bolther has recently said he believes it’s time to BUY US real estate. Real estate investors who have followed Thomas’s advice from past Q Wealth events and stayed liquid are now set to make a killing. Thomas will be writing more about this on his own blog over coming weeks, at bolther.com He’s also confirmed as a scheduled speaker at our event in Ireland in September (see below)