Since the early 90’s I’ve been involved in publishing information about offshore banking and investing. In 1995 I attended my first major conference of offshore service providers, at the El San Juan Hotel in San Juan Puerto Rico. In attendance there were experts from almost every Caribbean Country, as most of these countries offer no-tax, or very low-tax investing and banking to foreigners that use the financial services of these so-called “tax havens”.
Also present at the Puerto Rico offshore conference were scores of financial advisors, tax attorney’s and investment promoters mostly from the U.S. but many from the U.K. and Canada to make for a pretty well healed crowd of global finance experts. I remember feeling somewhat intimidated by the sophisticated crowd when attending a champagne soiree, pool side after the first day of lectures because I was way out of my league, having no extra money to invest offshore and no clients or clue how to get them, or what I would do if I did. However, I was enthralled because I knew something that none of them did (yet) that the Internet was going to change the world, and that the bearers of the information about how to invest offshore were the people I needed to get acquainted with.
Much has changed in the past 12 years, obviously I was very correct in my prediction that the Internet would be a major factor in the growth of the tax havens but not a single expert in the offshore financial services industry could have guessed that it would grow by that much. Back then the first President Bush used to use the expression “a new world order” and I knew what he was talking about, like these little tax haven countries were going to get connected by Internet and become as influential as the most powerful global financial centers IE. NYC, London, Tokyo and Frankfurt etc… and that the Internet would make banking (via online) as common from Mauritius or Monaco as from down the street on the corner. All that my great visions of the future did, was provide me a sort-of road map to where I wanted to go, problem was I had no vehicle to get there or idea how to drive if I did but I did have the good common sense to register some excellent domains, starting with InvestOffshore.com in 1994.
Finally my persistent pursuit of knowledge, experience and understanding has brought me close to the neighborhood that I was seeking. To become self-sufficient and financially independent from the Internet. I taught myself enough about web development to start making something useful from the Domain names that I registered so many years ago. Continued improving my knowledge of the tax-havens, some of which I’ve come to know personally from several visits, and in more recent times improved my skills at publishing information about the offshore world. Now I’ve embarked upon the next leg of my journey, which is to become a decent writer. During this self-imposed education I’ve applied one of my natural abilities (or perhaps it’s a family trait) and that’s a certain “people-skill”, to introduce myself to people who possessed the ingredients I was lacking in becoming a useful proponent of the information gold mine I was attempting to capitalize on. In the end, it may be true that it’s who you know, not what you know but without the latter you’ll never get near the former.
I’ve been extremely lucky about my choice of intellectual pursuits, in that I’m very drawn towards freedom and liberty concepts and the ideals behind the offshore, while largely about avoiding over taxation for most people, are a true passion of conviction for me. As I honestly believe that the world would be a better place with less regulation, travel restriction, and meddling in other people’s business. I think that smaller countries have every right to offer better deals to attract people to do business there, and that in the end it’s better for every country because people are always going to go home to spend (more money) some day, so it all comes back onshore.
I’m also very fortunate that I saw the information age coming before others did and I took decisive action. Sure it’s taken me many years and a gazillion hours of study to master web development and I’m still a hack but I’ve loved the entire journey and never regret a minute of my pursuit. One day I hope that my oldest website OffshoreNet the Sovereign Lifestyle Guide becomes not only a very popular and useful resource but also an educational and entertaining travel/finance/lifestyle channel.