Give No Advice

As you begin to read this article, appreciate the contradiction. How can I write an article titled, “Give No Advice,” without appearing to give advice about that subject? I can’t. Wow, this was the shortest article that I have written.

How about a proposition, an assertion of my opinion, with a couple of examples to support that opinion? So, unless you are an expert in a particular subject, trained, in possession of degrees or certificates that attest to that training, and you have practical experience, I suggest that, “You should give no advice outside of that subject area.” This is legal low risk guidance. But, you might have legitimately useful advice for others even though you don’t have any fancy training and certificates.

Writing about this subject is therapy for me. I struggle with the idea of not advising grown members of my family, my friends, and (everyone else, like readers of my articles). I want all of you to benefit from my experiences. Sadly, I have learned that my noble intent does not often produce a predictable result. My giving advice or suggestions to family and friends (on moral issues, finances, jobs, and raising family) have fallen short or even backfired. It makes me feel as though I did something wrong, that I am culpable in a miserable outcome. Perhaps I should not have given the advice in the first place.

A saying in the U.S. Army: “If you break it, you own it.” In this instance, by giving advice that someone else used, I somehow own the breakage that occurs, even though I warned them that “this is your decision.” Do you see that giving advice is a conundrum, a difficult endeavor. Why is that? Simple answer: Adults, even those who are close to you, must make their own decisions, and they make them based on their current age and level of experience.

They tend to get their advice by peer association. If you are older, and even if they agree that you are wise, your advice sounds to them like “the answer,” and they may take your advice and use it without understanding it. That is why it is your fault (in their mind) if your advice does not work for them. Someone you love may actually tell you, “You gave me bad advice,” which means, “You’re advice sucks, man!” Ouch! All you wanted to do was help them.

Web search Colossians 2:4-15. The Christian Apostle Paul, in a Roman prison, received word from a member of one of the Christian Churches, that Paul founded, that “the membership is well-ordered, but those who would deceive the Christians are also there.” By letter, Paul guided the Christians, saying, “He is with them in spirit, if not in body (because he is in prison).” He reminded them of the big picture (they were saved by their faith in Jesus Christ), that there is no other authority in Heaven or on Earth (Matthew 28:18).

So, give no advice. Identify authority and accountability under that authority. With that said, any individual should understand what (big picture) is the right thing to do and why. Advice is all about how to do something, and the how varies. It is not your business to counsel another person on how anything is done.

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Offshore Banking – Fiction Vs Fact

FICTION: Offshore banking can’t be that good because they can’t really pay the high interest rates they offer. If they could really pay those rates then U.S. banks would try to be competitive and have the same interest rates.

FACT: Examine closely the financial statements of any U.S. Bank. You will see that their “gross” profits against customer deposits can range from 25% to 40% — but — they have laws written in stone to limit the interest amount they can pay customers on their deposits. The U.S. banks place their earnings into unnecessary frills and non-productive expenditures like fancy buildings etc., while offshore banking facilities don’t do this and share their profits with their customers.

FICTION: Offshore banking isn’t regulated, so you are at risk of losing all money deposited with them.

FACT: The truth is that every country in the free world has regulations, rules and laws governing financial institutions and banks. Those regulations, rules, and laws, however, are much less restrictive than the “protectionist” U.S. banking regulations, rules, and laws and allow the offshore banking industry better opportunity to earn much greater profits for their investors and depositors.

FICTION: Offshore banking facilities are not insured by the F.D.I.C.

FACT: Some of the banks are but not that many. If they are, they must comply with the same protectionist banking regulations and rules as all the other F.D.I.C. insured banks. But, the majority of offshore banking facilities are insured; one way or another.

Depositor insurance programs similar to the F.D.I.C. program have been established in some countries, so that the banks in those countries have their deposits insured. Independent insurance companies insure the deposits of offshore banking facilities in other countries AND unlike the F.D.I.C., insure 100% of the banks deposits; not just those under $100,000. (By the way, some of the banks in the U.S. insure their deposits with independent insurance companies and many banks in the U.S. are not F.D.I.C. insured)

Offshore banking is “self-insured” for the most part which means those banks have a liquidity factor equal to 100% (or more) of the deposits on the books. Those banks have $1 (or more) in liquid assets for every $1 held on deposit. Therefore, there is no bank run because they can cover any depositor demand.

Self-insured offshore banking is actually more secure than F.D.I.C. insured U.S. banking. Why? Because the F.D.I.C. insured U.S. banks are permitted to maintain a liquidity factor equivalent to approximately 10 percent of their public deposits. (Is it any wonder why more U.S. banks fail each year than in any other country?)

Which kind of bank would you feel more safe having your money in? An offshore banking institution which as one dollar in cash for every dollar on deposit, or a U.S. bank which as ten cents in cash for every dollar that shows up on the deposit statement they give their clients?

FICTION: Offshore banking isn’t as big or strong as U.S. banking.

FACT: Of the strongest and largest big banks in the world (in assets), one bank ONLY is located in the United States:

Here are the safest offshore banks in the world, according to a ranking done in 2007 after examining their total assets in US dollars. This ranking is compiled from balance sheet information included on AllBanks.org

1 UBS AG Switzerland 2 Barclays UK 3 The Royal Bank of Scotland Group UK 4 Deutsche Bank AG Germany 5 BNP Paribas SA France 6 The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd Japan 7 ABN AMRO Holding NV Netherlands 8 Societe Generale France 9 Credit Agricole SA France 10 Bank of America NA USA

2008/2009 UPDATE AFTER THE FINANCIAL COLLAPSE OF 2008

Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank AG, reported a fourth quarter loss of about $6.3 billion. A year earlier, the bank posted a profit of about $1.3 billion (1 billion euros), Bloomberg reported.

Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to post losses of as high as £1.7 billion.

Bucking the trend is a bank not even on the list above and that bank is Standard Chartered bank which is expecting to post profits of 1.3 billion pounds. I have a contact who can help you open an account at this bank for your company if you desire to do so. The account would be in Hong Kong.

Another bank I know about is rated AAA by an independent rating service and if you are not from the U.S. or if you are from the U.S. and have a foreign LLC or IBC to open the account with then you can deposit $15,000 and get involved in their borrow low and deposit high program which has earned depositors as much as 100% per year on their deposit. It is easy to open an account there.

FICTION: Offshore banking must not be very good, or more facilities would advertise their services in newspapers and magazines in the U.S.

FACT: Offshore banking in general is restricted by law from advertising in magazines, newspapers, radio and on T.V. unless they come under the same protectionist rules and regulations that are placed upon U.S. banks. Knowing that, you should be cautious about doing business with any offshore banking facility that publicly advertises in the U.S. media. Because you can be very sure that they have sold-out to the U.S. banking establishment and that establishment will end up selling you out to those who make the rules.

FICTION: Offshore banking is only for the wealthy.

FACT: About 25 years ago, that may have been true. But I know of about three offshore banking facilities that will allow you to open an account for as little as $500. One of these is in the Asia, another in Europe, and another in Latin America.

FICTION: Opening an account at an offshore banking facility is too difficult, and it is very difficult to get a withdrawal when you need it.

FACT: Opening an account at an offshore banking facility is easy because you just follow the instructions they give to you. Getting your money out only requires a request that you fax or email with an attachment included.

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