Articles – Crypto Property Agency

Do you have a will? What happens to money scattered across all my accounts if I get hit by a proverbial bus?

I'm poor, with an income below £15k, still studying later than most, but have my full LISA allowances for the past four years, across more than one provider. I also have premium bonds (yes, yes, I know. But it's my emergency fund and super easy access), bitcoin, etc. And own property.
I don't have a family and I don't have a will. If I die early, nobody would even know about the LISAs and bitcoin. How do I approach communicating the account info to someone after my death? Does it all go in a will? And how do people know where my will is?
To further complicate things, I'd like my small savings to go to an overseas charity. How do I appoint an executer to oversea this, and compensate them for the hassle without letting a solicitor do it and inevitably having no money left to go to the charity afterwards?
What arrangements do you all have for an unpredicted early death?
EDIT: Thanks you UK FIRE homies. There are some fantastic well-informed replies on this thread, and you've really given me a lot of direction in how to address this. I hope others can also read this and get some benefit.
submitted by badgerhoneyy to FIREUK [link] [comments]

Digital Dollar, FedNow, CBDC, the central banks spending and global push for more control through digital currency.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak a few interesting things happened. China introduced the "Digital Yuan / RMB" And in April the "Digital dollar" was proposed in the first stimulus bill here in the USA. And they haven't stopped talking about it since. High tables from the White house Financial committee, Federal Reserve, US congress. Aiming to have a digital currency working as early as 2021 to provide UBI / Universal basic income to the masses, all while being able to track, freeze, limit, manipulate spending throughout the economy. Starting to sound rather like a "Black mirror film" isn't it? Well...China has taken it a step farther with their "Social Credit system" watching and controlling nearly every aspect of life. . . but we're here to talk about currency. How could this even happen in America? Well, to start
All of the above is a partial list of factors devaluing the Dollar and trust in it from several ways and views. At the end of the day it has a huge amount of enemies, that are all looking for ways to get out of it.
Some of what I'm seeing personally.
It is a death spiral for the working person, where it used to be "No more than 30% of your wage going to housing" It is now well over 50%....Just look at this recent post in Frugal https://www.reddit.com/Frugal/comments/ifqah1/is_it_normal_for_a_third_to_a_half_of_you?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
This death spiral I foresee getting worse. And historically any "tax" / regulation cost will just be passed down to the consumer in form of increased prices until people / businesses move elsewhere as we've seen in several cities around the US.

So what can we do? Buy Gold! Silver! Bitcoin! Stocks! I hear people roar, They aren't exactly wrong as history shows... but have you considered the 30-40% tax on the "gain"? Even when that asset buys the same value before tax? What if the government makes it illegal like the 1933 order: 6102 Where you couldn't own gold for nearly 50 years? You're frozen out, or even out on taxes (which will likely be more strict and controlled later in time).
I'd say Invest in things that will
Metals are the next step when a person has plenty of the above. You get to a point where you have hundreds of thousands, if not millions that you need to condense into something real.
It is all about the savings or productivity gain of the investment. For instance I would wager that many preppers have gotten more use / value out of a $800 clothes washer than a $800 rifle. (have you ever had to do manual laundry???) Sure the rifle will hold value...but it often doesn't pay you back with time / what it saved and / or what it has produced during its life unless you are using it. Same can be said of security cameras, a generator, a tractor, trailer, garden, tools, ect.
Look at history even, in countries that have experienced hyperinflation people that already had tangibles they regularly use were way ahead. It could even be honey, a tool, extra maintenance parts, can of food, that bottle of medicine, a computer to keep your intel on point, (cough # PrepperIntel plug) use of your equipment to do or make something for someone. Real Estate is good too, it rides inflation well and has many ways of being productive.
Your metals could be sitting there like the rifle, and could be subject to hot debate and laws. Meanwhile that garden is paying back, chainsaw is helping saw up wood, or your tractor is helping a job, your tools just helped you fix something / saved you much loss, Your security stopped a loss not by a person, but an random animal stealing things. Or that $25,000 solar array is paying you back by the day in spades...while making you independent...running all your tools you're using to make things to sell, and even heating / cooling some of the house with the extra juice while places around you experience rolling blackouts. You were even smart and took the current 24% tax benefit the government has saving you $5000 on it for batteries. Don't get me started if you have an electric vehicle with solar... I'm rambling at this point...and all those stealthy / direct and passive background savings...even if the crap doesn't hit the fan.
So anyways, With out of control central banks and big governments, digital currencies, How do you think it will play out? Are we heading to dystopia?
submitted by AntiSonOfBitchamajig to PrepperIntel [link] [comments]

Buying a home for my dad and having him use gift exclusion for "rent".

Hi All, Looking forward to your answers/thoughts on my idea here, hopefully will get some good conversation going.
Background on me…
25 Years Old (May 2018 graduate)
From Dec-18 thru March-20 I work/worked as an Engineer in the Oil and Gas industry overseas (currently on furlough due to travel into my work country being completely closed with a potential return date of 15-Sep)
Net worth $107k (Cash 14k / Bitcoin 41k / Crypto 7k / 401k 30k / Roth IRA 32k / Other Stocks 7k / Silver 4k / Student loans -28k)
2019 income $112k (net ~$100k) should do ~$100k gross this year as well (not sure on net as being in the States on unemployment likely will affect my ability to deduct foreign income)
Idea…
My dad (56 w/ +$3mil net worth) has been renting the same house for 11 years since my parent’s divorce. His landlord owns an identical house next door that just had the tenant move out and he told my dad he is looking to sell it. My dad loves the house he is in (location is perfect right on a bike trail ~25 minutes outside a top 30 population city) and his biggest worry is the landlord also selling his house and having to find a new place. Being a believer in homeownership I’ve previously told my dad I would buy him a house and rent it back to him and with interests rates as low as they are it seems as good a time as ever to start building a rental portfolio.
Obviously my biggest concern is mixing family and money however we have always been a very open family when it comes to talking about money and having been at home for 3 months during COVID I don’t see my relationship with my dad having any issues.
Questions… 1) Can I have my dad give me 15k per year as a gift (tax exclusion) and let him live there rent free? This would be a huge help in terms of cash flow as our main idea/goal with this is to stop transferring his worth to someone else and instead keep it in the family and would also allow us to keep his “rental payment” below market value (currently pays $1150 with comps going for $1400-1500 / month).
2) Any other tax issues that I am not thinking of?
3) Insurance wise I would obviously get dwelling, property, liability, and an umbrella policy to cover my needs. Anything I am missing here?
Obviously will run all of this by a financial advisor if we plan on going forward with it but I felt like this would be a great way to get a start on future financial planning for my family going forward.
submitted by Gas______oil__ to personalfinance [link] [comments]

International Banking Options

Throwaway Acct
Background: Married 40 and 3 kids with approx 3.5M NW (2.5M in RE backed by 2M in loans and 3M across investable assets and 401Ks) in a HCOL area.
My parents came to the US in the 70s from Asia without money and worked odd jobs putting me and my siblings through college enabling us to go good schools and get high paying FAANG jobs. With the current political climate and hearing stories from the old country and how things went for the Japanese Americans during WW2, I've been wondering what are some ways to stash cash overseas that won't be easily seized by the US gov if at some point we end up in a world of internment camps or need to flee the country. Understand it's a low chance and I'm still optimistic on the future of the US more a doomsday prepping exercise.
It's going to make annual taxes a bit more painful but might be worth it? I understand there's additional overhead with FATCA compliant on overseas banks for US citizens. I'm guessing there's a threshold where it becomes "worth it" for an overseas bank to accept deposits from US citizens? Was looking into banks in Singapore/Australia
Other options I've considered: Bitcoin, buying physical gold, preparing to quit claim title on RE properties.
submitted by fatfire_paranoia to fatFIRE [link] [comments]

08-12 22:05 - 'Why Bitcoin Will Win: The Bearish Case for Ethereum' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/uncapslock removed from /r/Bitcoin within 207-217min

'''
Hi Everyone! If you were around for the 2017 bull cycle, you might remember me from:
[[link]6
With the advent of DeFi, I wanted to crystalize my thoughts on why Bitcoin will win in the end.

Why Bitcoin Will Win: The Bearish Case for Ethereum

Ethereum is the MySpace of decentralized finance. Hobbled together, scrappy, but provides an exciting glimpse into the future. We should be pleased with the new paradigms discovered through this experiment but should not expect it to be the de facto platform in a decade.
Ethereum has demonstrated intrinsic challenges that are insurmountable without an Ethereum 2. We have witnessed unauditability, scaling difficulties, centralization and high contract fees. Building second-layer solutions to make up for shortcomings is akin to patching cracks in the asphalt with duct tape.
In this piece, I’ll navigate why we should not confuse novelty of features for sustainable value, why Ethereum makes for a poor base layer, and what to expect in the decade ahead.
There will only be one base layer for digital scarcity of humanity and that is Bitcoin.

The “Bitcoin is money, Ethereum is apps” fallacy

There is a logical fallacy in arguing “Bitcoin is money, Ethereum is apps,” which draws a false equivalence between the value of money and apps. As any self-respecting financier knows, the value lies (quite literally) where wealth is stored.
“Applications are cheap. A store of wealth is expensive.”
Building applications is a solved problem.
We know how to recruit engineers, build organizations and assemble technical solutions. We have a bevy of technologies that provide affordances for user interfaces. We have best practices for effective engineering. We even have strategies for amplifying creativity during brainstorming.
The number of pages on CoinMarketCap.com is a testament to the commonality of applications.
What is not solved is building applications on top of a store of wealth.
In order to build applications on top of a store of wealth, you either appropriate an existing store of wealth and build on top of it (i.e. Plaid) or you build a new store of wealth (Bitcoin).
Building a digital store of wealth is so hard it has taken over half a century and is still not ready. The digital store of wealth is only ready when it stores a nontrivial portion portion of global wealth.
On August 11, 2020, MicroStrategy announced it had acquired 21,454 Bitcoin for $250 million. A single company bought the equivalent of all Bitcoin in Ethereum that day.
Building an application on Ethereum today is the worst of both worlds. It builds on a burgeoning new store of value with a tiny addressable market on top of a limited capacity network already showing strains.
The vast majority of global wealth is still outside of the system, waiting to designate a digital store of value.
Conceding that Bitcoin is the better store of value is conceding Bitcoin will be the disproportionate beneficiary of global wealth entering the system.

So where do applications fit in?

Imagine acquiring a bank. You are given a choice to either acquire the trillion dollars under management and no app or a smooth, slick app but not the financial assets.
It’s easier to make a new application where users are already present rather than move users to a new platform with an existing application. As we’ve seen in the previous section, most users will be on Bitcoin utilizing its value as a store of wealth.
“Applications will be built where wealth is stored.”
What we’ll see is the best ideas from current generation of DeFi applications (elastic supply, governance, fair distribution mechanisms, auditability) built into layer 2 solutions of Bitcoin that itself sits on top of multiple trillions of dollars of global wealth.
Why will this happen? Builders will note applications of value from the small pond of Ethereum and see a market opportunity to natively expose those features to the much larger accounts in Bitcoin, reaping proportionally higher revenue.

Why can’t we use Ethereum as a store of value?

“If native users of a platform are so important, why can’t we just use Ethereum as a store of value? After all, holders of Ethereum have seen much higher appreciation in value since its founding compared to Bitcoin.”
Here we refer back to the [“The Bullish Case for Bitcoin”]2 which lays out the core properties of money of which three critical areas Ethereum is weak against Bitcoin.

Verifiability

As we see in the indefatigable investigation by [Pierre Rochard]3 in his epic quest to audit Ethereum’s supply limit, verifying the total number of Ethereum is not a trivial task.
A number of supply adjustments had been made in node software instead of on-chain transactions, intermediate miner rewards calculated using uncles that are not finalized for a number of blocks, selfdestruct() that leaves ambiguity for token inactivity.
These factors make it impossible to have an objective measure without specifying an asterisk of the nuances appropriated for each method of calculation.
Lack of auditability makes Ethereum a nonstarter for firms desiring a store of value. Without an objective measure of supply comes an impossibility of assessing the value of your asset.
From measurement of the Ethereum supply through scripts, it has been hypothesized that there has been at least one inflation bug that has been exploited: [*[link]7

Scarcity

There is no set limit of Ethereum by design. From inception it was designed to be an inflationary currency which is essential as a utility token executing applications but is fatal for a store of value.
There is an ongoing effort to curtail Ethereum’s inflation to appease to its holders which will be to its detriment as use as an application platform.
This tension between being an appreciating digital asset and utilization as fuel is intrinsic to Ethereum and cannot be removed. When Ethereum prices go up by a factor of ten, only smart contracts that can provide commensurate proportional value will be viable.
“Using Ethereum as a store of value creates a perverse relationship with increasing contract fees that undermine its value as an application network.”
As the price rises further, we will see the majority of use cases today become priced out, adding platform risk where users will now need to worry whether they will be able to get their assets back out in the event of Ethereum appreciation.

Censorship Resistance

It is an open secret that Infura is the defacto backend for Ethereum. Running a full Ethereum node is known and accepted to be an arduous task with astronomical processor requirements.
This problem is getting worse, not better as the system struggles with transaction volume today, much less the several magnitudes of transactions needed in the coming decade.
The solution provided is running Ethereum 2 and implementing applications on a second layer of Ethereum. This shifts the conversation to if building a new base layer or building on a second layer is necessary, what benefit is there to retain Ethereum as a base layer?

A Look Back from 2030

When we look back to 2017–2021, we will remember this period as the primordial era of where creative entrepreneurs came together to experiment with the new paradigm of permission-less smart contracts.
We will see a meaningful portion of global wealth go into Bitcoin by 2024 raising assets under management to a trillion dollars. Companies will convert overseas holdings into Bitcoin to counter inflationary risk for sovereign currencies. Smaller nation-states will start to acquire a reserve of Bitcoin to counter dollar strength to pay off their dollar-denominated debt.
During this time, firms small and large will rush to build applications to service wealth stored in Bitcoin on layer 2 and layer 3 solutions. Many of these applications will be inspired by what is currently built on top of Ethereum but addressing a much larger market.
Through two more halvings by 2030, everyone will have a Bitcoin account providing both a store of value as well as a unified platform that provides the largest installed userbase for financial products. We'll be ending the decade with 10M per Bitcoin, (one magnitude increase each for the three halving periods: 2020-2024, 2024-2028, 2028-2032) with Bitcoin serving as the generational store of wealth for those with the foresight to stack sats and hodl.

Tips for Builders

You’re not late. In fact you’re incredibly early. We’re still building the store of value that will be the foundation to the financial apps that you’ll build. Ethereum is a nice environment for experimenting with new paradigms that are made possible through smart contracts.
But understand that the bulk of your future customers will be onboarding onto a different platform when they do arrive. There will be a bonanza period where we see thousands of companies and millions of retail users adopting Bitcoin.
It’ll be up to you to recognize the arbitrage opportunity to offer product features in native Bitcoin format to beat other products that must employ bridges to access wealth stored in Bitcoin.

About Me

For future writing, [you can follow me on Twitter at @uncapslock]5 .
This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be investment advice.
'''
Why Bitcoin Will Win: The Bearish Case for Ethereum
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: uncapslock
1: www.red*it.co***/Bi*coin/*om**n*s/6h4*1i/why_i*sol*_all_***e*h*reum_*oda**an*_convert*d_i*/ 2: medium.c*m/@*i*a*bo*apati/t*e*bu*l*sh*case-for-*it*oin*6ecc8*de*c* 3: tw*t*e**com/pierre_*o*hard 4: *w*tte*.***/GeistLight/st*tus/1*926*756*3801390** 5: t*itt**.*om/uncap**ock 6: ww**r**di**com*Bitcoin/comments/6h4**i/why\_*\_***d\*al*\_my*_eth*re*m\*today\*and*_*onve*te*\_it/**^1 7: twitter.com/*eistLi*h*/s*a*u*/*29*6475***801390***]^^4
Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]

Need Advice Friends

Hello all,
TL;DR : I’m sorry just skim through.
Need advice on something in regard to a current mutual project my best friend, his business partner from another venture and I are doing.
A few years ago they asked me if I wanted to leave my six-figure job in Afghanistan, save some of the money I made and put it into a account for the business and help start this second business that wasn’t doing too well. Fast forward to now I left my previous company for other reasons and was unemployed for about a year we came to an agreement to hire me for less than six figures and I would help redesign their current SaaS project that they wanted to finally get up to par. The previous project was terribly made, ugly, unresponsive, old and they weren’t making any money on it. It had tons of bugs, it was a security risk, they didn’t have insurance for hacking, many different things. I came in here and helped arrange the business as the CEO.
I am a technologist previously working for the Government so programming and radio communications is my skill set. So now that I have been working for them we’ve had a couple encounters about their investment and they’ve more than spoke that I am an employee, not a partner. They pay me through the other company and try and get me to do tasks for that, I squashed that idea and told them that’s not my job. They don’t really like that I say no a lot because they have no clue about software and I am making sure it’s done right. They come from a service industry so it doesn’t make sense to them a lot. Also, many of the things they want are already on my scope so they never get to add anything and I tell them check the scope. Which I don’t think they ever read. The only other thing that happens is when I approach them with something cool they like it and it pushes the completion date right, then they complain. My friend is the sorta dude that I’d you asked him who is the best at his company he’d rate himself 10/10, yes that has happened.
I have asked for partnership (which was offered when I was going to pay for myself previously). Now the offer is apparently off the table. I’ve asked and get crickets. Currently we have been designing the website for about a year now, I maintain the project and communicate with the five programmers as the PMO. I pretty much communicate with the stakeholders (them), about once or twice a week, show them the updates sometimes but not really. my friend loves it. I work remotely which bothers them. But I explained it’s a software company and pointless to be in an office unless it with clients. So I have a WeWork now and then. But I travel to Brazil where my wife is a doctor until she finishes her USMLE.
All the ideas (upgrades) are mine and my visions. I pretty much took what they had, changed the business model, and spiced it up. The website integrates finances, GPS, etc. It’s pretty epic and will be around $100K project minus my salary. Their biggest complaint awhile back was time and investment. But they spent around $160K on the previous SaaS of which $40K was me fixing it (it has customers). Honestly, the last company just fucked them over. So they liked to say it’s a lot of money and they needed to have me do other task for the other company to get the most out of me, like I said above I squashed that as I am not worried about what happened previously to my arrival and they clearly think it’s not hard to do my job. Lol.
All the code goes under my repository, which is from my software business. All of the designs and functions of the website are my intellectual property. I have all sorts of things from financial ideas, awesome designs from other websites, amazing APIs, etc. I like to make sure my products stand out. We never did any contracts as they didn’t know they needed it. I truly think they will continue to pull me along and never give me partnership. I am asking for a $100K raise on completion as this website would generally pull $30K yearly from clients. We wipe out the need for Quickbooks, fuel cards, banks, etc. like I said I put a lot of effort to cover everything. Plus this industry is old and outdated and needs this shit lol.
A lot of this also may be due in part to me being a drop out, living my life by the 80/20 rule, which they think is impossible and being super successful with my previous career, my biased opinion. They always use to make fun of me, thought I was lazy. But I spent 7 years overseas. Made $220K a year, in 2018 made $300K in Bitcoin (shoulda sold). I had Rolex’s, nice cars, and I just bought things I wanted because I was poorand this always created friction between my group and I think it’s made it’s way over. crazy thing is my best friend and I were raised in the same trailer park. Lol.
All the wife’s and talk shit behind my back. I’ve really bent over backward for these guys. Had a repo, can’t even afford to live in my house. (Ran out of money and bills were greater than income). I was being conservative on my wages. A lot more to the story but I am unsure of what to do. I was creating my own version of this site before I came because in my industry we used a similar software and I was building one to try and sell.
So I just need some advice.
Thanks.
submitted by ForcibleBlackhead to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]

Lessons learned - Crypto and Divorce - In January I was a millionaire thanks to BTC, then my wife divorces me and now I have $30,000 AMA

Crossreferencing u/nanoissuperior He wrote earlier today: https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/a3n6uw/in_january_i_was_a_millionaire_thanks_to_nano_now/
Title: In January I was a millionaire thanks to Nano, now I have $25,000 AMA

I was replying to his post, but my reply ended up being a bit too large as a reply and steered off-topic, albeit an interesting one. So I decided to make it its own post, because there may be a good lessons to be learned and hoping some will come forward with good information to be shared.
I hope it can help anyone on this sub avoid the costly mistakes that I made. Here it goes: FLAIR: LEGAL (not in the list)
----
u/nanoissuperior are you who I think you are? I won't give out any further identifying clues, but I happen to know someone in the exact same position that could have written that exact same headline. If you read the first paragraph, you'll know if you know me.
The person I know bought Nano really early, based on a tip from a friend. I got in much later. By the time he told me it had already spiked to the $5 range, when I ended up buying. I then sold in the $20's so it was a good buy nonetheless. We were former colleagues at a large, large software company somewhere in the PNW, I left the company to venture out on my own and try to launch some projects I had in mind and relocated overseas for a few years. We lost contact with each other during my time away, but we connected again during the market runup and started exchanging coin information on a daily basis during the big bull run of late 2017. That was a crazy time.... the market trend was a few degrees short of vertical for pretty much all coins!

Hey, guess what? Now that I think about it, I could have written that same headline myself! In January 2018 I was a Millionaire too! Not with Nano, but thanks to purchasing a good chunk of Bitcoin in 2011 at $1.20 each. I ended up a single digit millionaire with what I had left in Bitcoin around January of 2018.
And, just like you, today, from all that wealth, I have about $30.000 left, with little to show for. Can we call that even? Although my disaster was not caused entirely by market fluctuation; Mine is a more complex story and I am going to mention it, because hopefully, it could serve as a lesson to be learned for any crypto holder out there, so they don't make the make mistake I made: Don't trust anyone. Always be skeptical and watch out for your own interests. Anyhow, here it goes:
After 5 years overseas, I had enough and wanted to come back to the States. My wife stated her preference to stay abroad, but eventually, she conceded albeit reluctantly. We chose a small town in CO to settle, and landed in November of 2017. We had plans to settle down and considered purchasing a home with my/our new fortune, based on the market price during that period. At the same time, I was also hesitant about the inherent tax payments due caused by such large liquidation. I was trying to have to pay taxes as far away as possible. So, I decided to wait till New Year's Eve and started liquidating my crypto on January 1st, 2018 right after midnight. This way, I would have 16 months (till April, 2019) to pay any capital gains taxes, and I was confident at the time that the market would give me that for free, especially at the pace that it was going. I have been an early adopter and have since then acquired the high levels of verification and trading limits per week, with many exchanges, but for a large sum like this, I needed several separate transactions, over the course of several weeks, especially wanting to do it with a US-based exchange that was linked to a US bank accounts, to avoid overseas wire transfers, meaning more fees. (Yes, I did look at all OTC options, but for reasons not relevant to the story, I couldn't make it happen, so I had to use the traditional Exchange channels for asset liquidation).
My wife and I, initially had some fundamental disagreements on the gross amount to be spent and the type of property we should be purchasing. I wanted a smaller place, with a denser, younger community, where there'd be kids our son's age for him to play. She insisted that we should go big; we had been traveling for so many years, and we had not been able to call any of our past residences our home. It was time to settle and nest; She convinced me that we should own a property of our own that we would be proud of living in for years. One that we could own outright and would not easily outgrow. We ended up splurging and purchased in cash two luxury cars for ourselves and set our sights on a large dream house in the city's Golf & Country Club, free and clear, for us and our two kids. I don't even play golf, nor do I even like it, but, if it makes her happy and it is within the safe margins of making it happen, I figured, why not? My concerns were largely financial and the numbers were adding up. It was a bit tight against my personal safe margins, but, at the same time, I was imagining to never have to make, or even have to think about, a car or home mortgage payment ever again! Bitcoin is on a roll and there is no sign of it stopping. Fine. Let's do it, before I change my mind.
Now, I admit I was extremely lucky with choosing the time of when to sell the assets. I had no clue the market would take a dive in February, and so it seemed to many that I had timed the market perfectly, selling most of my coins in the first two weeks of January of 2018. Many called me a genius for selling at the very top, as if I had some sort of wisdom to know when it would drop; the truth is much less flattering; it was nothing but dumb luck, based on me wanting to pay taxes in 2018 and defer to 2019. Awesome, well done! Yeah? well, slow down, son, not so fast.
So, I gather the 7-digit lumpsum in January 2018 and we write a check for the full amount at closing in February on the property of her dreams. A property that could easily be showcased on a luxury Real Estate magazine cover. Also, remember we had just moved back to the United States with just a few suitcases each from overseas. We had no furniture, kitchenware, curtains, TV's, bed sheets, winter clothing and so many other essential things that one usually purchases over time, but which we now had to purchase all at once. Not a problem, Bitcoin had dropped slightly but still well above $15k, I believe, at the time. And, earlier, in January, I had diligently taken this expense into account and effortlessly set aside a small fortune for equipping such a large house with everything we would ever need, brand new. It seemed we were protagonists of one of the Home Makeover Shows.
Finally, after working day and night, prepping the house non-stop for days and when every piece of furniture had finally arrived, been unpacked and carried to its corresponding room, it seemed most of the essentials were in place and the hard work was done. I longed for pouring myself a Scotch and to finally sit down and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I head downstairs to the dedicated walk-in, cigar-humidor / wine / Scotch cellar in the basement and grab the better bottle of Whisky of the few bottles of Scotch that I had bought earlier in the week. On my way up, I remember feeling a sense of calm, combined with a glow of excitement and this undescribable profound inner peace, all at once. This was such a rare, natural, non-drug induced high that I had never experienced. It felt so good! This sense of accomplishment of achieving that one thing I had been chasing and longing for my entire life. I had expected I would be chasing this goal for the next 15-20 years, and yet, here it was. No, where I was, was even better than expected! A place where not even my parents, who still have to make their monthly mortgage payments. I had done it! With a smile from ear to ear, I take a deep breath of relief and while looking around the property, I think to myself: "It's perfect, everything is in place and I can finally call this our home. We are so lucky and we are going to live a great life. A life that few can only dream of. So many concerns will be lifted and become redundant. Everything will be better. I'll start a fire in one of our two fireplaces and I am going to begin enjoying my semi-retired life with the first sip of my drink. That will be the official start of our new life".
I head over to the kitchen to get a glass and some ice cubes, while I struggle to find which one is the freezer among the many drawers in the kitchen. It was then when I notice a handwritten note placed front and center on the kitchen counter. It is from my wife and read: "There is no easy way to say this, so I am just going to say it..... I want to legally divorce [ ...]". It continued saying that she had taken our son, and had unequivocally decided to leave me. She had already filed the paperwork for divorce and that I should expect to be served in the morning.
My bliss had lasted less than 5 minutes and in less than two seconds, it turned dark, somber and I saw it all crumbling down in front of me. Like a long-awaited rocket launch, years in preparation, which then unexpectedly explodes on the launch pad during the countdown. My stomach, heart and everything in my body just sank and melted into one ball of poison in my core. I felt like throwing up. I was completely blindsided; she had played the game all along, not giving me the slightest hint of what was being concocted in the background. She had already engaged with her lawyers weeks beforehand. Her mother was already in town from another state to help out with I don't know what. I had been gaslighted and was threatened by her that I needed to see a psychiatrist due to a change in my temper that I had supposedly developed - my temper was awesome: with BTC at that price? Everything was perfect! But I obeyed and went anyhow (this would later fit her story that she had to leave with the child because she feared for her safety due to my supposed temper for which I was under treatment, therefore, I must have this temper problem, see?). Also, the purchase of the overpriced home also seemed clearly premeditated: Price was the main driver of the decision making; not location, demographics, taxes, etc. It was the wrong neighborhood for us (people much older than us, retired, golfers and no kids the same age as our son to play with). Our house happened to also be the most expensive in the neighborhood. I can see it all so clearly now.
See, your crypto coins on the blockchain, are not within the US court's jurisdiction (or, at least, it's quite debatable - a gray area - ask me for the seed and I can tell you that I may have the seed, or that I may not have the seed, I may have the wrong seed, I may have forgotten it, I may have lost it - you can't prove I did not forget, or lost it, etc). However, once it is in FIAT in a bank, or invested in a property, the courts can rule on the asset(s), freeze, disburse or order a sale of the property, etc. It's done all the time.
Also, the coins were technically mine, and by definition private property (not to be divided during the divorce) as they were acquired before the marriage. I could not prove its origins (I bought many of them via direct messaging members on Bitcointalk.org and mining rather than exchanges, so no records, receipts or nothing to prove otherwise: the big exchanges like BitStamp and Coinbase didn't start operations till 2013, if I m not mistaken. Instead, I would talk to one of the forum members offering coins we'd agree on a price, I'd send a check to wherever the individual seller instructed me to (Russia, Bulgaria, Japan, UK. etc) and the coins would be deposited to whatever address I provided. Yes, it was quite crude at the time.
However, once I converted my coins to cash and used that cash to buy a property for the benefit of the family, it became common property and thus she then had rights to a portion of it when divided between the two parties should a divorce occur - which ended up being almost 3/4 of all assets.
I was robbed in broad daylight. By the one person, I trusted with my life. The one you should trust with your life. Your life partner. And while I was in complete denial, trying to bargain, I waited too long to obtain good legal representation. When I finally ended up getting a lawyer, I was quite distraught and I clearly did not do the proper research and this resulted in a less than stellar performance and detrimental to me at many key steps in the process. I had to switch legal representation right before mediation and I can't blame my new lawyer either, as (s)he did not have the required time to catch up on all the details, (s)he did his/her best, but I was ultimately strongarmed into conceding my soon-to-be-ex-wife to let her return to the house, in exchange to obtain 50% of my son's custody, with serious and strict clauses I had to abide by. So, I had to move out, find a hole in the wall in a student apartment, pay my rent and pay our kids pre-school, while she lives grandiose, without monthly payments in the country club, till the house sells, which will likely be in the spring of next year. Nice!
Due to my delay, legal mishandling and somehow every other element in her favor, she inexplicably ended up with around 3/4 of the worth of all assets, free and clear, no taxes due. Mind you, she has never financially contributed, nor made a single $ during our entire marriage. She has never worked and had $0 in her pocket when we married. She didn't even have a checking account, well in her thirties. She is no dummy; she is street smart, knows how to manipulate people, get her way with flirting and charm, while I am more intellectual and book smart. and She beat me hands-down. She is walking away with a sum of, not quite 7 figures, but close.
With what I am left with from the sale of the house, I am responsible to pay for all the capital gains taxes from the liquidation to the IRS, which are due in April 2019. I don't expect there to be more left over than the estimated $30k mentioned above.
Hate the market all you want, I made peace with the market and am keeping busy at hating my ex for a while for putting me in the same situation. She tripped me 1 yard before the finish line and pushed me in the prickly bushes, to cross it by herself. Go figure. When I am done hating her, I'll get back to rebuilding my life again from scratch. I am not worried, I have done it before. Just pissed, I was so close and that I was so naive to not see it coming.
Sorry, I am not meaning to hijack the thread, just wanted you to know that others may have lost more than just "free" money; money we didn't really have to work for. We were the lucky ones. It is what I keep telling myself to stop me from jumping off a bridge.
PS - Woah: Sorry for the wall of text; I was just going to write the first paragraph and ended up venting about my current situation. I know, I should take this issue to /depressed, /exes or /whereisthenearestbridgeIcanjumpfrom.
Hopefully, this can be a lesson to those holding crypto and some can learn what NOT to do. I learned the hard way and was left with nothing. Don't be a nice guy. Don't trust anyone with your crypto. Anyhow, I am sure either our vigilant subreddit bot, or one of the mods will remove my post for not adhering to rule, and if not, I am sure that you fine people will downvote me to hell. Go ahead. Take away from me the little Karma I left too! Thanks!

I learned many lessons, but here are some key ones [IANAL - any crypto-educated AL opinion appreciated here, thanks] :
- Understand the concept of private property - property you acquire before getting married. INAL - this depends on the state legislation, but it is hard to prove with crypto, especially if you obtained your crypto through foreign exchanges, outside of legal jurisdictions, the petitioner might not understand or willing to invest in obtaining subpoenas and requests to businesses operating overseas, as this may result costly.
- Get a lawyer who understands, or is willing to understand crypto, its benefits of being somewhat unreachable and how that can work for you. Don't let them shortchange you with: "well, let's just convert the rest to cash, because that I understand" type of reasoning.
- If you do go to mediation, the above applies as well. This arbitrator or mediator needs to be one that understands the intrinsic details of crypto - for example, during the ATH, I bought 6 digits worth in $USD of Stellar. I used the very first version of the software, supporting Stellar on my hardware device, and put it all in a cold storage wallet somewhere around January. I routinely checked on my coins on the blockchain and they are there. A few months later, I try to access my account and the device returns a different public address, which contains 0 funds. I am still trying to debug this issue with the manufacturer, but the fact is that I was accused of hiding these coins or negligence and was demanded that I paid half of what was lost. or not lost, out of my pocket for money that I didn't have access either. I tried to explain it in the simplest terms, there are risks involved with using first come software. There is no 1800 number, mo tech support. no CEO, no, you can't call the BBB and complain, etc and no one seemed to be able to understand, nor willing to either. It became a huge roadblock for which I had to concede, not cash, but a concession, I was not wanting to concede. The petitioner leaned on the fact that I was either wilfully cheating or stupid enough to lose the coins and managed to create enough doubt in my character and integrity and there was nothing rational I could explain that she, or anyone else in the room would understand. Perhaps mutually contracting a seasoned crypto expert that can offer a neutral view and give his/her opinion might be worth considering. Andreas, where were you when I needed you? :)
- Other examples were some coins I had bought in 2012 and gifted to some of her family's kids. I was holding these, till they would turn 16 for them to pay themselves their college, or so I told them. These coins were demanded back by the petitioner. Ok, I suggested that I would send them, but with a CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY value with a block height of let's say,10 years from now, out of fear that she would spend the coins and the kids would never know (they are toddlers). No one understood what I was talking about, I was made out the crazy one, I gave up, sent her the coins, unlocked and, just as I expected, within 20 minutes of receiving them, she spent $1200 worth of it (for a flight, I think). If you are the only one speaking your language, no one is willing to listen or make an effort to understand you.
- It appears my coins were private property, which means, that I acquired them before the marriage and in case of divorce, if I have not moved them or used them for the common good of the marriage, then they remain mine. However, I liquidated them and cash ended up in my checking account to be used to buy groceries, cars and eventually a house, and it is then that they became common property. Only once they landed in my checking account on which she is named on. It appears that had I taken proper legal precautions with documentation, or a company/trust, where that money would have gone, instead of my checking accounts, elsewhere, I would have still been able to be the legal proprietor of the resulting cash. I can't quite remember the details, but it as something that was explained to me afterward, and I honestly think I just tuned it out, because it made me sick to know I could have held on to my wealth. Perhaps a lawyer can chime in? Again, much of the lack of information and every misstep taken was because of dealing with people that are accustomed to traditional assets and will not deviate from it. Crypto is different and is treated differently. It is so important to know the strengths and weaknesses when going into litigation about something that people don't understand.
- Some more I can think of, but this post is getting way out of hand in size. Feel free to comment/suggest your own and I'll add more to the comments.

Credits to: u/nanoissuperior Thanks for your post, it inspired me to write this one. Anyone, any karma you feels needs to go his way, for providing the source of inspiration, please give to O-OP.

TL;DR: Wife, having contributed $0 during entire marriage, waited until I cashed out all my crypto at the top of the bull market in January 2018, for a nice seven-figure amount, and then immediately divorced me for the money.

Edit: added TL;DR
submitted by mijalis to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Business is going under and I am a co-signer on the loan. (Alabama)

I'm going to try and keep to the facts and not post anything with emotion.
I see the writing on the wall and our company is pretty much screwed over us not bidding a multi-million dollar contract correctly.
I am 30 years old and live in Thailand. My wealth is in real estate back in the USA (around $500,000). The houses are in my name and not an LLC.
I am going to call an attorney so I can protect as much as I can before I file.
I'm not planning on coming back to the USA so I am almost tempted to just sell off my property and then move the proceeds overseas, to a family members account or to bitcoin.
I'm so lost and depressed. Any suggestions?
submitted by i_am_trying_bro to Bankruptcy [link] [comments]

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submitted by TeresaXiao to Bitroom [link] [comments]

NYT article/The Weekly Episode on Epstein Hotlist

Just finished watching The Weekly (it’s kind of a Vice rip-off by the NYT) on Hulu where they went into detail about their story published this week about a « hacker » named Patrick Kessler who claimed to have tens of thousands of hours of Epstein’s private videos.
Turns out, Patrick did not released the videos and there is a lot of questions with his credibility, nonetheless, he clearly exposed two lawyers (Bois and Pottinger) for attempting to profit by offering to reach large settlements in which they would take 40%.
The article is here: Jeffrey Epstein, Blackmail, and a Lucrative Hotlist
Even though it sounds like this guy Kessler is full of shit, I REALLY wish that he wasn’t and at some point these troves of photos and videos get released and a bunch of rich and powerful people get what they deserve for abusing these women.
For those who need access to NYT- it is a long article, but here’s the full text:
By Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Emily Steel, Jacob Bernstein and David Enrich Nov. 30, 2019 Soon after the sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein died in August, a mysterious man met with two prominent lawyers.
Towering, barrel-chested and wild-bearded, he was a prodigious drinker and often wore flip-flops. He went by a pseudonym, Patrick Kessler — a necessity, he said, given the shadowy, dangerous world that he inhabited.
He told the lawyers he had something incendiary: a vast archive of Mr. Epstein’s data, stored on encrypted servers overseas. He said he had years of the financier’s communications and financial records — as well as thousands of hours of footage from hidden cameras in the bedrooms of Mr. Epstein’s properties. The videos, Kessler said, captured some of the world’s richest, most powerful men in compromising sexual situations — even in the act of rape.
Kessler said he wanted to expose these men. If he was telling the truth, his trove could answer one of the Epstein saga’s most baffling questions: How did a college dropout and high school math teacher amass a purported nine-figure fortune? One persistent but unproven theory was that he ran a sprawling blackmail operation. That would explain why moguls, scientists, political leaders and a royal stayed loyal to him, in some cases even after he first went to jail.
Kessler’s tale was enough to hook the two lawyers, the famed litigator David Boies and his friend John Stanley Pottinger. If Kessler was authentic, his videos would arm them with immense leverage over some very important people.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger discussed a plan. They could use the supposed footage in litigation or to try to reach deals with men who appeared in it, with money flowing into a charitable foundation. In encrypted chats with Kessler, Mr. Pottinger referred to a roster of potential targets as the “hot list.” He described hypothetical plans in which the lawyers would pocket up to 40 percent of the settlements and could extract money from wealthy men by flipping from representing victims to representing their alleged abusers.
The possibilities were tantalizing — and extended beyond vindicating victims. Mr. Pottinger saw a chance to supercharge his law practice. For Mr. Boies, there was a shot at redemption, after years of criticism for his work on behalf of Theranos and Harvey Weinstein.
In the end, there would be no damning videos, no funds pouring into a new foundation. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger would go from toasting Kessler as their “whistle-blower” and “informant” to torching him as a “fraudster” and a “spy.”
Kessler was a liar, and he wouldn’t expose any sexual abuse. But he would reveal something else: The extraordinary, at times deceitful measures elite lawyers deployed in an effort to get evidence that could be used to win lucrative settlements — and keep misconduct hidden, allowing perpetrators to abuse again.
Mr. Boies has publicly decried such secret deals as “rich man’s justice,” a way that powerful men buy their way out of legal and reputational jeopardy. This is how it works.
7 men and a headless parrot
The man who called himself Kessler first contacted a Florida lawyer, Bradley J. Edwards, who was in the news for representing women with claims against Mr. Epstein. It was late August, about two weeks after the financier killed himself in a jail cell while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
Mr. Edwards, who did not respond to interview requests, had a law firm called Edwards Pottinger, and he soon referred Kessler to his New York partner. Silver-haired and 79, Mr. Pottinger had been a senior civil-rights official in the Nixon and Ford administrations, but he also dabbled in investment banking and wrote best-selling medical thrillers. He was perhaps best known for having dated Gloria Steinem and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Mr. Pottinger recalled that Mr. Edwards warned him about Kessler, saying that he was “endearing,” “spooky” and “loves to drink like a fish.”
After an initial discussion with Kessler in Washington, Mr. Pottinger briefed Mr. Boies — whose firm was also active in representing accusers in the Epstein case — about the sensational claims. He then invited Kessler to his Manhattan apartment. Kessler admired a wall-mounted frame containing a headless stuffed parrot; on TV, the Philadelphia Eagles were mounting a comeback against the Washington Redskins. Mr. Pottinger poured Kessler a glass of WhistlePig whiskey, and the informant began to talk.
In his conversations with Mr. Pottinger and, later, Mr. Boies, Kessler said his videos featured numerous powerful men who were already linked to Mr. Epstein: Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister; Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer; Prince Andrew; three billionaires; and a prominent chief executive.
All seven men, or their representatives, told The New York Times they never engaged in sexual activity on Mr. Epstein’s properties. The Times has no reason to believe Kessler’s supposed video footage is real.
In his apartment, Mr. Pottinger presented Kessler with a signed copy of “The Boss,” his 2005 novel. “One minute you’re bending the rules,” blares the cover of the paperback version. “The next minute you’re breaking the law.” On the title page, Mr. Pottinger wrote: “Here’s to the great work you are to do. Happy to be part of it.”
Mr. Pottinger also gave Kessler a draft contract to bring him on as a client, allowing him to use a fake name. “For reasons revealed to you, I prefer to proceed with this engagement under the name Patrick Kessler,” the agreement said.
Despite the enormities of the Epstein scandal, few of his accusers have gotten a sense of justice or resolution. Mr. Pottinger thought Kessler’s files could change everything. This strange man was theatrical and liked his alcohol, but if there was even a chance his claims were true, they were worth pursuing.
“Our clients are said to be liars and prostitutes,” Mr. Pottinger later said in an interview with The Times, “and we now have someone who says, ‘I can give you secret photographic proof of abuse that will completely change the entire fabric of your practice and get justice for these girls.’ And you think that we wouldn’t try to get that?”
A victim becomes a hacker
Mr. Pottinger and Mr. Boies have known each other for years, a friendship forged on bike trips in France and Italy. In legal circles, Mr. Boies was royalty: He was the one who fought for presidential candidate Al Gore before the Supreme Court, took on Microsoft in a landmark antitrust case, and helped obtain the right for gays and lesbians to get married in California.
But then Mr. Boies got involved with the blood-testing start-up Theranos. As the company was being revealed as a fraud, he tried to bully whistle-blowers into not speaking to a Wall Street Journal reporter, and he was criticized for possible conflicts of interest when he joined the company’s board in 2015.
Two years later, Mr. Boies helped his longtime client Harvey Weinstein hire private investigators who intimidated sources and trailed reporters for The Times and The New Yorker — even though Mr. Boies’s firm had worked for The Times on other matters. (The Times fired his firm.)
By 2019, Mr. Boies, 78, was representing a number of Mr. Epstein’s alleged victims. They got his services pro bono, and he got the chance to burnish his legacy. When Mr. Pottinger contacted him about Kessler, he was intrigued.
On Sept. 9, Mr. Boies greeted Kessler at the offices of his law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, in a gleaming new skyscraper at Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side. Kessler unfurled a fantastic story, one he would embroider and alter in later weeks, that began with him growing up somewhere within a three-hour radius of Washington. Kessler said he had been molested as a boy by a Bible school teacher and sought solace on the internet, where he fell in with a group of victims turned hackers, who used their skills to combat pedophilia.
Kessler claimed that a technology executive had introduced him to Mr. Epstein, who in 2012 hired Kessler to set up encrypted servers to preserve his extensive digital archives. With Mr. Epstein dead, Kessler boasted to the lawyers, he had unfettered access to the material. He said the volume of videos was overwhelming: more than a decade of round-the-clock footage from dozens of cameras.
Kessler displayed some pixelated video stills on his phone. In one, a bearded man with his mouth open appears to be having sex with a naked woman. Kessler said the man was Mr. Barak. In another, a man with black-framed glasses is seen shirtless with a woman on his lap, her breasts exposed. Kessler said it was Mr. Dershowitz. He also said that some of the supposed videos appeared to have been edited and cataloged for the purpose of blackmail.
“This was explosive information if true, for lots and lots of people,” Mr. Boies said in an interview.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger had decades of legal experience and considered themselves experts at assessing witnesses’ credibility. While they couldn’t be sure, they thought Kessler was probably legit.
A chance to sway the Israeli election
Within hours of the Hudson Yards meeting, Mr. Pottinger sent Kessler a series of texts over the encrypted messaging app Signal.
According to excerpts viewed by The Times, Mr. Pottinger and Kessler discussed a plan to disseminate some of the informant’s materials — starting with the supposed footage of Mr. Barak. The Israeli election was barely a week away, and Mr. Barak was challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The purported images of Mr. Barak might be able to sway the election — and fetch a high price. (“Total lie with no basis in reality,” Mr. Barak said when asked about the existence of such videos.)
“Can you review your visual evidence to be sure some or all is indisputably him? If so, we can make it work,” Mr. Pottinger wrote.
Kessler said he would do so. Mr. Pottinger sent a yellow smiley-face emoji with its tongue sticking out.
“Can you share your contact that would be purchasing,” Kessler asked.
“Sheldon Adelson,” Mr. Pottinger answered.
Mr. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate in Las Vegas, had founded one of Israel’s largest newspapers, and it was an enthusiastic booster of Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Pottinger wrote that he and Mr. Boies hoped to fly to Nevada to meet with Mr. Adelson to discuss the images.
“Do you believe that adelson has the pull to insure this will hurt his bid for election?” Kessler asked the next morning.
Mr. Pottinger reassured him. “There is no question that Adelson has the capacity to air the truth about EB if he wants to,” he said, using Mr. Barak’s initials. He said he planned to discuss the matter with Mr. Boies that evening.
Mr. Boies confirmed that they discussed sharing the photo with Mr. Adelson but said the plan was never executed. Boaz Bismuth, the editor in chief of the newspaper, Israel Hayom, said its journalists were approached by an Israeli source who pitched them supposed images of Mr. Barak, but that “we were not interested.”
‘These are wealthy wrongdoers’
The men whom Kessler claimed to have on tape were together worth many billions. Some of their public relations teams had spent months trying to tamp down media coverage of their connections to Mr. Epstein. Imagine how much they might pay to make incriminating videos vanish.
You might think that lawyers representing abuse victims would want to publicly expose such information to bolster their clients’ claims. But that is not how the legal industry always works. Often, keeping things quiet is good business.
One of the revelations of the #MeToo era has been that victims’ lawyers often brokered secret deals in which alleged abusers paid to keep their accusers quiet and the allegations out of the public sphere. Lawyers can pocket at least a third of such settlements, profiting off a system that masks misconduct and allows men to abuse again.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger said in interviews that they were looking into creating a charity to help victims of sexual abuse. It would be bankrolled by private legal settlements with the men on the videos.
Mr. Boies acknowledged that Kessler might get paid. “If we were able to use this to help our victims recover money, we would treat him generously,” he said in September. He said that his firm would not get a cut of any settlements.
Such agreements would have made it less likely that videos involving the men became public. “Generally what settlements are about is getting peace,” Mr. Boies said.
Mr. Pottinger told Kessler that the charity he was setting up would be called the Astria Foundation — a name he later said his girlfriend came up with, in a nod to Astraea, the Greek goddess of innocence and justice. “We need to get it funded by abusers,” Mr. Pottinger texted, noting in another message that “these are wealthy wrongdoers.”
Mr. Pottinger asked Kessler to start compiling incriminating materials on a specific group of men.
“I’m way ahead of you,” Kessler responded. He said he had asked his team of fellow hackers to search the files for the three billionaires, the C.E.O. and Prince Andrew.
“Yes, that’s exactly how to do this,” Mr. Pottinger said. “Videos for sure, but email traffic, too.”
“I call it our hot list,” he added.
Image The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan. The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan.Credit...Stephanie Diani for The New York Times A quiet table at the back of Grand Sichuan
In mid-September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger invited reporters from The Times to the Boies Schiller offices to meet Kessler. The threat of a major news organization writing about the videos — and confirming the existence of an extensive surveillance apparatus — could greatly enhance the lawyers’ leverage over the wealthy men.
Before the session, Mr. Pottinger encouraged Kessler to focus on certain men, like Mr. Barak, while avoiding others. Referring to the reporters, he added, “Let them drink from a fountain instead of a water hose. They and the readers will follow that better.”
The meeting took place on a cloudy Saturday morning. After agreeing to leave their phones and laptops outside, the reporters entered a 20th-floor conference room. Kessler was huge: more than 6 feet tall, pushing 300 pounds, balding, his temples speckled with gray. He told his story and presented images that he said were of Mr. Epstein, Mr. Barak and Mr. Dershowitz having sex with women.
Barely an hour after the session ended, the Times reporters received an email from Kessler: “Are you free?” He said he wanted to meet — alone. “Tell no one else.” That afternoon, they met at Grand Sichuan, an iconic Chinese restaurant in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The lunch rush was over, and the trio sat at a quiet table in the back. A small group of women huddled nearby, speaking Mandarin and snipping the ends off string beans.
Kessler complained that Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were more interested in making money than in exposing wrongdoers. He pulled out his phone, warned the reporters not to touch it, and showed more of what he had. There was a color photo of a bare-chested, gray-haired man with a slight smile. Kessler said it was a billionaire. He also showed blurry, black-and-white images of a dark-haired man receiving oral sex. He said it was a prominent C.E.O.
Soup dumplings and Gui Zhou chicken arrived, and Kessler kept talking. He said he had found financial ledgers on Mr. Epstein’s servers that showed he had vast amounts of Bitcoin and cash in the Middle East and Bangkok, and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver and diamonds. He presented no proof. But it is common for whistle-blowers to be erratic and slow to produce their evidence, and The Times thought it was worth investigating Kessler’s claims.
The conversation continued in a conference room at a Washington hotel five days later, after a text exchange in which Kessler noted his enthusiasm for Japanese whiskey. Both parties brought bottles to the hotel, and Kessler spent nearly eight hours downing glass after glass. He veered from telling tales about the dark web to professing love for “Little House on the Prairie.” He asserted that he had evidence Mr. Epstein had derived his wealth through illicit means. At one point, he showed what he said were classified C.I.A. documents.
Kessler said he had no idea who the women in the videos were or how the lawyers might go about identifying them to act on their behalf. From his perspective, he said, it seemed like Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were plotting to use his footage to demand huge sums from billionaires. He said it looked like blackmail — and that he could prove it.
‘We keep it. We keep everything’
Was Kessler’s story plausible? Did America’s best-connected sexual predator accumulate incriminating videos of powerful men?
Two women who spent time in Mr. Epstein’s homes said the answer was yes. In an unpublished memoir, Virginia Giuffre, who accused Mr. Epstein of making her a “sex slave,” wrote that she discovered a room in his New York mansion where monitors displayed real-time surveillance footage. And Maria Farmer, an artist who accused Mr. Epstein of sexually assaulting her when she worked for him in the 1990s, said that Mr. Epstein once walked her through the mansion, pointing out pin-sized cameras that he said were in every room.
“I said, ‘Are you recording all this?’” Ms. Farmer said in an interview. “He said, ‘Yes. We keep it. We keep everything.’”
During a 2005 search of Mr. Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate, the police found two cameras hidden in clocks — one in the garage and the other next to his desk, according to police reports. But no other cameras were found.
Kessler claimed to have been an early investor in a North Carolina coffee company, whose sticker was affixed to his laptop. But its founder said no one matching Kessler’s description had ever been affiliated with the company. Kessler insisted that he invested in 2009, but the company wasn’t founded until 2011.
The contents of Kessler’s supposed C.I.A. documents turned out to be easily findable using Google. At one point, Kessler said that one of his associates had been missing and was found dead; later, Kessler said the man was alive and in the southern United States. He said that his mother had died when he was young — and that he had recently given her a hug. A photo he sent from what he said was a Washington-area hospital featured a distinctive blanket, but when The Times called local hospitals, they didn’t recognize the pattern.
After months of effort, The Times could not learn Kessler’s identity or confirm any element of his back story.
“I am very often being purposefully inconsistent,” Kessler said, when pressed.
A Weinstein cameo
On the last Friday in September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger sat on a blue leather couch in the corner of a members-only dining room at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan. Antlered animal heads and oil paintings hung from the dark wooden walls.
The lawyers were there to make a deal with The Times. Tired of waiting for Kessler’s motherlode, Mr. Pottinger said they planned to send a team overseas to download the material from his servers. He said he had alerted the F.B.I. and a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan.
Mr. Boies told an editor for The Times that they would be willing to share everything, on one condition: They would have discretion over which men could be written about, and when. He explained that if compromising videos about particular men became public, that could torpedo litigation or attempts to negotiate settlements. The Times editor didn’t commit.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger later said those plans had hinged on verifying the videos’ authenticity and on having clients with legitimate legal claims against the men. Otherwise, legal experts said, it might have crossed the line into extortion.
The meeting was briefly interrupted when Bob Weinstein, the brother of Harvey Weinstein, bounded up to the table and plopped onto the couch next to Mr. Boies. The two men spent several minutes talking, laughing and slapping each other on the back.
While Mr. Boies and Mr. Weinstein chatted, Mr. Pottinger furtively displayed the black-and-white shot of a man in glasses having sex. Both lawyers said it looked like Mr. Dershowitz.
‘You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that’
One day in late September, Mr. Dershowitz’s secretary relayed a message: Someone named Patrick Kessler wanted to speak to him about Mr. Boies.
“The problem is that they don’t want to move forward with any of these people legally,” Kessler said. “They’re just interested in trying to settle and take a cut.”
“Who are these people that you have on videotape?” Mr. Dershowitz asked.
“There’s a lot of people,” Kessler said, naming a few powerful men. He added, “There’s a long list of people that they want me to have that I don’t have.”
“Who?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “Did they ask about me?”
“Of course they asked about you. You know that, sir.”
“And you don’t have anything on me, right?”
“I do not, no,” Kessler said.
“Because I never, I never had sex with anybody,” Mr. Dershowitz said. Later in the call, he added, “I am completely clean. I was at Jeffrey’s house. I stayed there. But I didn’t have any sex with anybody.”
What was the purpose of Kessler’s phone call? Why did he tell Mr. Dershowitz that he wasn’t on the supposed surveillance tapes, contradicting what he had said and showed to Mr. Boies, Mr. Pottinger and The Times? Did the call sound a little rehearsed?
Mr. Dershowitz said that he didn’t know why Kessler contacted him, and that the phone call was the only time the two men ever spoke. When The Times showed him one of Kessler’s photos, in which a bespectacled man resembling Mr. Dershowitz appears to be having sex, Mr. Dershowitz laughed and said the man wasn’t him. His wife, Carolyn Cohen, peeked at the photo, too.
“You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that,” she said.
Data set (supposedly) to self-destruct
In early October, Kessler said he was ready to produce the Epstein files. He told The Times that he had created duplicate versions of Mr. Epstein’s servers. He laid out detailed logistical plans for them to be shipped by boat to the United States and for one of his associates — a very short Icelandic man named Steven — to deliver them to The Times headquarters at 11 a.m. on Oct. 3.
Kessler warned that he was erecting a maze of security systems. First, a Times employee would need to use a special thumb drive to access a proprietary communications system. Then Kessler’s colleague would transmit a code to decrypt the files. If his instructions weren’t followed precisely, Kessler said, the information would self-destruct.
Specialists at The Times set up a number of “air-gapped” laptops — disconnected from the internet — in a windowless, padlocked meeting room. Reporters cleared their schedules to sift through thousands of hours of surveillance footage.
On the morning of the scheduled delivery, Kessler sent a series of frantic texts. Disaster had struck. A fire was burning. The duplicate servers were destroyed. One of his team members was missing. He was fleeing to Kyiv.
Two hours later, Kessler was in touch with Mr. Pottinger and didn’t mention any emergency. Kessler said he hoped that the footage would help pry $1 billion in settlements out of their targets, and asked him to detail how the lawyers could extract the money. “Could you put together a hypothetical situation,” Kessler wrote, not something “set in stone but close to what your thinking.”
In one, which he called a “standard model” for legal settlements, Mr. Pottinger said the money would be split among his clients, the Astria Foundation, Kessler and the lawyers, who would get up to 40 percent.
In the second hypothetical, Mr. Pottinger wrote, the lawyers would approach the videotaped men. The men would then hire the lawyers, ensuring that they would not get sued, and “make a contribution to a nonprofit as part of the retainer.”
“No client is actually involved in this structure,” Mr. Pottinger said, noting that the arrangement would have to be “consistent with and subject to rules of ethics.”
“Thank you very much,” Kessler responded.
Mr. Pottinger later said that the scenario would have involved him representing a victim, settling a case and then representing the victim’s alleged abuser. He said it was within legal boundaries. (He also said he had meant to type “No client lawsuit is actually involved.”)
Such legal arrangements are not unheard-of. Lawyers representing a former Fox News producer who had accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment reached a settlement in which her lawyers agreed to work for Mr. O’Reilly after the dispute. But legal experts generally consider such setups to be unethical because they can create conflicts between the interests of the lawyers and their original clients.
‘I just pulled it out of my behind’
The lawyers held out hope of getting Kessler’s materials. But weeks passed, and nothing arrived. At one point, Mr. Pottinger volunteered to meet Kessler anywhere — including Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
“I still believe he is what he purported to be,” Mr. Boies wrote in an email on Nov. 7. “I have to evaluate people for my day job, and he seemed too genuine to be a fake, and I very much want him to be real.” He added, “I am not unconscious of the danger of wanting to believe something too much.”
Ten days later, Mr. Boies arrived at The Times for an on-camera interview. It was a bright, chilly Sunday, and Mr. Boies had just flown in from Ecuador, where he said he was doing work for the finance ministry. Reporters wanted to ask him plainly if his and Mr. Pottinger’s conduct with Kessler crossed ethical lines.
Would they have brokered secret settlements that buried evidence of wrongdoing? Did the notion of extracting huge sums from men in exchange for keeping sex tapes hidden meet the definition of extortion?
Mr. Boies said the answer to both questions was no. He said he and Mr. Pottinger operated well within the law. They only intended to pursue legal action on behalf of their clients — in other words, that they were a long way from extortion. In any case, he said, he and Mr. Pottinger had never authenticated any of the imagery or identified any of the supposed victims, much less contacted any of the men on the “hot list.”
Then The Times showed Mr. Boies some of the text exchanges between Mr. Pottinger and Kessler. Mr. Boies showed a flash of anger and said it was the first time he was seeing them.
By the end of the nearly four-hour interview, Mr. Boies had concluded that Kessler was probably a con man: “I think that he was a fraudster who was just trying to set things up.” And he argued that Kessler had baited Mr. Pottinger into writing things that looked more nefarious than they really were. He acknowledged that Mr. Pottinger had used “loose language” in some of his messages that risked creating the impression that the lawyers were plotting to monetize evidence of abuse.
Several days later, Mr. Boies returned for another interview and was more critical of Mr. Pottinger, especially the hypothetical plans that he had described to Kessler. “Having looked at all that stuff in context, I would not have said that,” he said. How did Mr. Boies feel about Mr. Pottinger invoking his name in messages to Kessler? “I don’t like it,” he said.
But Mr. Boies stopped short of blaming Mr. Pottinger for the whole mess. “I’m being cautious not to throw him under the bus more than I believe is accurate,” he said. His longtime P.R. adviser, Dawn Schneider, who had been pushing for a more forceful denunciation, dropped her pen, threw up her arms and buried her head in her hands.
In a separate interview, The Times asked Mr. Pottinger about his correspondence with Kessler. The lawyer said that his messages shouldn’t be taken at face value because, in reality, he had been deceiving Kessler all along — “misleading him deliberately in order to get the servers.”
The draft retention agreement that Mr. Pottinger had given to Kessler in September was unsigned and never meant to be honored, Mr. Pottinger said. And he never intended to sell photos of Mr. Barak to Mr. Adelson. “I just pulled it out of my behind,” he said, describing it as an act to impress Kessler.
As for the two hypotheticals about how to get money out of the men on the list, Mr. Pottinger said, he never planned to do what he carefully articulated. “I didn’t owe Patrick honesty about this,” he said.
Mr. Pottinger said that he had only one regret — that “we did not get the information that this liar said he had.”
He added, “I’m building legal cases here. I’m trying not to engage too much in shenanigans. I wish I didn’t, but this guy was very unusual.”
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Wealth Formula Episode 188: Ask Buck Part 2 (Transcript part 2)

So all right next question and we're already going pretty late this is a long question, okay this is a very long question or at least my answer is going to be very long because this is from Eric. He says this is a hypothetical question if you could participate actively and/or passively and only three of the following alternative investment types over the next five to seven years which ones and why. Okay so there's a long, there's a laundry list of different things here which I think it's useful to go over. These are all things I think the reason Eric has them is because they have been the subject of podcasts of mine over a period of time. Let me give you my personal opinion on each, it's not again not investor advice right this is not it advice, this is my opinion but I'm gonna go through each one that's on this laundry list and just give you a short little feedback from my opinion okay and then I'll come back and I'll give you my three favorites. So self storage units okay I like self storage. I like self storage because it's resilient to the cycles, the recessionary cycles etc and the issue like anywhere else though is you got to find the right operator. You can also you know you could probably learn to do this. I have not necessarily you know learned to do this but I think it's a good business, you know especially with the demographic changes, the boomers as they retire and they leave their you know big houses and they move somewhere warm like Florida or something like that then they got to put their stuff places and that makes it great or you can raise rents very quickly in these things. You basically nickel dime people up you know significantly every year the challenge is finding where do you invest and so I'll tell you that you know I'm not a big fan of funds. I know there are some funds out there I'm not a big fan of them because I like to know what's in the portfolio and I know for a fact that some of the funds are basically you know just a bunch of properties that no one wanted to take down an individual asset necessarily and so they all kind of got grouped together. I like self storage but the deal has to be just right. It has to be just the right location etc etc okay and by the way I think again and from an inflationary standpoint it's a great, great place to be too but you gotta find the right deal. I'm sure we'll get hopefully we'll get one this year in Investor Club. Mobile home parks. Mobile home parks now this should be a good place for hedging the economy because of low-income housing right because of the low income housing play right there's always gonna be people who need it. The problem is okay let me back up there are people who own mobile home parks who are doing really well and if you want to get it in into that I mean hey more power to you I mean there's people who are doing well and and they're making decent money but always just look it as a pure cash flow play okay and if you buy it on your own you may get who knows fifteen twenty percent cash on cash and you know you get a you're gonna know how to run these things. I don't know very much about it. I hear it's not necessarily that hard but you know I mean obviously the professional operators are probably gonna do more with it but you can still make their basically cash counts right now. Here's the problem with investing in them as a limited partner though is that most of funds I see they might be giving you nine ten percent and for me for that kind of low-income housing, I mean this is really like you know Class D stuff right, I mean this is below apartment buildings so nine ten percent is just not enough right and the reason why that you're only getting you know eight nine ten percent is because well I mean the operators are taking the other half usually. If you can learn to buy these on your own then it might be worth it but the reality is that in a fund model or a syndicated model there isn't gonna be a lot of upside there, right? I mean think about it. What do we do in the apartment space? We have the ability to raise rents quite a bit and improve these properties. You can even take a property that has you know currently has residents who are you know C plus residents and all of a sudden you know you've got some hipsters in there and also you've opened up a new completely different kind of asset right? You can do that with apartments but in mobile home parks you really can't do that, you can't do that. I mean seriously like how much can you raise the rent on a mobile home park, you know people are living in mobile home parks if they move up too much then they don't live in mobile home parks anymore so the bottom line is the appreciation on there is gonna be limited. The upside is gonna be limited and that means the annualized return will be limited okay because you're not gonna be able to rely very much on appreciation. It's going to be your cash on cash and think of it that's all. So I'm not a big fan. I'm just not a big fan because if you think about it the next thing on the list here, large multifamily 50-plus units. Well for me this is my number one asset class. I mean people gotta live somewhere and unlike mobile home parks you can get significant IRRs annualized returns by value-add through inflation and gentrification all these things that you really are limited in mobile home parks, you know you can't count on all that with mobile home parks and the reality is for investors if you look in you know Investor Club, our yields are just just as good as but the better than what you're seeing in the funds for mobile home parks and they're much higher quality assets in the right hands. In my opinion is even as a limited partner this continues to be the best place for not only capital preservation and growth capital preservation but also growth in the next five ten years. Okay so small multifamily in other words see you don't want to be a limited partner okay, you want to buy ten, 20 units etc. Well I used to do that more. I don't really do that anymore and I did really well right I mean I did really well with that kind of strategy. If you're a good operator then great go for it. The problem is that okay so say you're buying like a you know a million dollar asset you're gonna put in two hundred, two hundred fifty thousand dollars in that one asset to just buy it. The problem is that the risk profile is significant there if you don't know what you're doing right now as opposed to you know spreading your two hundred, two hundred fifty thousand over four deals in a syndicated deal and getting exposure to you know ten times more doors all of a sudden you've got two million dollars you know you've got two hundred two hundred fifty thousand dollars of equity sitting in one deal and his buck stops with you so if you are comfortable with that by all means I was comfortable with it I didn't necessarily like it and so what I would what I would say is if you're the type of person who really wants to get into the real estate game and be a landlord then go for it otherwise don't. Understand that it's very different to have a ten, twenty unit apartment building than it is a two hundred unit apartment building. One you're a landlord, the other one you're managing a small business so just be aware of that. Single-family homes is the next one on the list and I'll just tell you I just don't like them enough for our, not for our demographic, meaning like accredited investors, because you know you have the ability to do something a lot more scalable right, just through syndications and getting lots and lots of exposures. The thing I don't like about single family homes here's the deal, there's not enough scalability, there's too much Capex, okay so one roof and one furnace each unit and everyone I know who owns five or six single-family homes wishes they didn't own five or six in a single family homes they want to sell them. These get to ten and they're like this is terrible and you know I get a hundred dollars per property and then the next thing you know one month I get a five thousand dollar furnace to replace, so I'm not a big fan. So with multifamily if you're gonna do it on your own I would recommend that an award the way I think that most people who are probably not natural-born landlords should do is its consider syndications. When you get more scale and exposure to more doors, things become more stable, cash flow becomes more stable,there's less risk and in reality what we're seeing in our you know in our limited partnership opportunities is that the returns are you know better than probably most people can do on their own. The next one on the list is agriculture. Agriculture followed by CBD, specialty coffee, chocolate, well so let's start with you know some of these things because I know they've been on my podcast before, and just understand that when I have something on a podcast it does not mean I am advocating for it or saying that you should invest in it or that I even like the deal. All right so let's start with some generalities. Agriculture is fine. The stuff that I see some of the stuff that I'm seeing out there in the podcast ecosystem that you're mentioning concerns me okay and one of them is that I don't like foreign investments very much. I've had some experience with them I've realized the implications of those and I won't do them again, certainly with a smaller operator and the reason for that is that if things go wrong there you have very little recourse okay, yeah very little recourse and it's very difficult you know you have to know your operator very well. You have to trust them because if something happens overseas good luck trying to you know get any sort of retribution, ain't gonna happen right so be very careful with that, I know people get excited about it you know they go on some sort of you know they go on some sort of like investment trip and they come back and you know they're excited, they heard about something like this and it's shiny and bright and stuff like that well why what's the point, I just you know the best place to invest is right here in the US okay. The other thing is agriculture in general I would say it's fine, it's gonna be low yield and also I will say that when there's some thing like it doesn't grow three years and won't yield any cash flow for that period of time what seriously you're okay with that? Okay I'm not. And then on top of that when you sign the contract on these things look at the fine print. Look at what your exit is because you should never invest in anything unless you've thoroughly thought about how you're going to get out of it and some of these things have that problem as well. I'm not a big fan personally. Okay now CBD and I've seen that come up in the ecosystems a lot lately I again I CBD again that space is full of charlatans I would just be careful you know I see stuff people like yeah we're gonna go do this in California right well listen I live in California okay and let me tell you right now everybody I know around here knows this to be true. There is a glut of pot in California you know and apart from a selective highly skilled business people who are in the space, everyone else is gonna get killed, they just are there's this is like you know the horse has already left on this one right. People think I'm gonna do CBD in California guess what there's a few people have thought about this before you and if you're coming into this space and you have no previous experience in you know pot in CBD and all this stuff you're gonna be you're way behind. Okay and the last thing is that unless you are a major player like you got serious pockets behind you I would stay away from this because there is there is like so many laws and so many things to dodge in the space. All I can tell you is I have yet to see you know personally you know from anything that I've been you know sent that's in the US in California anything like that I would be comfortable investing in. Okay now I know there's you know startups and things like that and if you want to spend a little bit of money and those from you know people who know what they're talking about I get it but I would definitely look at that as a fairly high risk thing but for heaven's sake you know just don't listen to a Podcast or you know get an email about hey we're gonna start growing pot in California you want in just please think okay. Let's see the next one I'm going to skip oil and gas because I think I have a question coming up about oil and gas here in a moment. Cryptocurrency again listen it's an asymmetric risk type thing shouldn't be your bread and butter thing at all I mean 5-10 percent max in this bucket of asymmetric risk things that could go I mean the reason I do it is a listen, Bitcoin goes up by you know 10x which I honestly personally think it will you know in the five to 10-year horizon I want to be able to to enjoy that. Now it's not something that I would spend a lot more than that on. Personally I only put money in there that you know keeps me from you know it's the money that I would just spend on things that will you know like a fancy car something like that's what I do. Life settlements okay life settlements just as a reminder what are they? Life settlements are when you buy somebody else's life insurance policies, so maybe somebody's you know 80 years old in real bad health they would like money now they don't have any you know they're not worried about their kids don't need any money anymore so you can buy these policies from them. A lot of times that you know 50 60 cents on the dollar which is a much better deal for them than not getting any money or just you know trying to pull out cash value, it's generally going to be more than the cash value so it's an interesting play. We've talked about this before. We actually have a webinar on it at hedgetheeconomy.com if you're interested. So you're investing life settlements, you know you're basically looking and saying I'm a little worried about the economy and maybe I have a self-directed IRA or solo 401k because you know honestly the other thing is that this is not a tax sheltered type investment so you have to think about that as well, you think to yourself I want to hedge I want a small part of my portfolio something that I feel very comfortable is gonna be there. Well out of all the things that are guarantees in life, death is probably the only one that, people used to say death and taxes but you know I mean the president United States paying taxes has no guarantee in life right I mean death is the only guarantee in life so that it might be worth it, check it out for yourself, hedgetheeconomy.com. Now, notes. Notes it's sort of broad. Notes basically being liens on property for the most part, a lot of times that's what it's indicating. It really depends on the operator you know, I would you know look at it as you know if you look at AHP Servicing you know with Jorge’s company I have looked at this in terms of short-term kind of places to put money for liquidity that I can pull out you know if there's a liquid fund like AHP Servicing for example, but I like appreciation and so that's the problem right, so you might get nine, ten percent cash on cash in notes, you might do a little bit better but you know you're not getting any tax advantages. So with multifamily real estate I mean I can still get nine, ten percent cash on cash and then I get twenty percent plus I are ours typically and you know the nine, ten percent I got is tax deductible so it's really the tax equivalent of making like fifteen percent. So you know fortunately if it's me I do equity over any kind of real estate debt and mostly it's because of the tax advantages. Now if you are gonna do it again, look at your qualified money like IRAs, 401ks etc and you know look at a fund. I also think this is one of those things where you really have to look at the operator. I do like Jorge. He's one of the smartest guys I know so AHP Servicing certainly would be something to consider and I so like liquidity the component of this is a nice place to keep it for a period time. And understand it's not without risk either. This is non-performing paper, but again that's where the operator comes in and you know I think Jorge is a really smart guy so I feel fairly comfortable with that. Gold and silver well honestly I don't see the point as I've said earlier, I mean gold and silver are hedge to inflation so this real estate cash flows and frankly I don't believe in the zombie apocalypse narrative that I have heard before you know where you buy that monster box of silver coins which by the way I did because I drank the kool-aid a few years ago and you know there's this idea that you know you're the only thing that's gonna be able to buy anything is a monster box of silver that's the only thing that people are gonna accept. Well I just don't think that's gonna happen so for me why not buy real estate at least you know you know you can force appreciation etc. Now if you're super paranoid on real estate just you know limit your leverage I'm not saying don't own gold a silver I'm just saying think about it before you go and drink the kool-aid on the you know the fear-based stuff there music royalties and we did have a podcast on that honestly I just don't know much about it but you know some people seem to be doing okay with it I wouldn't make this a core holding unless you were in the business and really know what you're doing. I would put this in your high risk profile. Artwork, similar. Listen I like our work is like gold in my view and if you are an art buff and you really know what you're doing then go for it but I'm not. Some people like vintage cars like me to enjoy it and allow it to appreciate. I think art is similar to that right, so it goes into that pile that I've talked about before where it's like if you have an inch you know if you're one of those people who buys stuff you know nice stuff and you know you want nice stuff well art not fine art and vintage cars are fun but they will appreciate so I think art is similar to that. I know we podcast on fractional ownership apart you don't get the same effect because you know get to keep it in your house but you know you do get to they do keep it in a gallery so that's kind of neat however you know what I'm not a big enough art guy to do this so I'm gonna stick to bread-and-butter stuff instead like real estate, websites, online businesses, if you know what you're doing this can be very profitable. The problem is that most people don't know what they're doing and I have looked into these things a little bit on behalf of people and I've been a little suspicious at least if some of the sites they seem like Ponzi schemes to me but I don't know for sure. Okay but if you know what you're doing with this this is a great space I mean you can make a lot you can make a decent money with this. I've done that private lending well private lending you know as opposed to notes I guess you're just lending to flippers and stuff I mean I would suggest that this is not a bad thing to do if you know how to do it. I know if there's some people who do it pretty fairly prolifically in our group here's what I would suggest though if you're worried about the economy or at all and lending the home flippers is probably one of the riskiest thing you can do but how can you mitigate that risk? Well you may just loan at you know fifty percent loan to value right and in that situation if they can't pay you back at least you've got a property that you can take over at 50 percent of the cost right now. I definitely would not be you know doing super high loan-to-value type notes or private loans and then you know obviously there's some stuff like Lending Club and stuff I have not really you know looked into much, but I think some people have where you can do some of that as well but okay so that's the big list of my favorites. Large scale real estate like apartments and self storage and one that you didn't mention on here that we talked about earlier, Wealth Formula Banking. For me that stocks and bonds that's equity and basically a bond a structure for me right and that makes up 90% of my investments right there and then the rest of its you know shiny stuff, asymmetric risk stuff like Bitcoin gives me exposure to something that could explode and make me a lot of money potentially with a small investment, but if I lose it and won't go crying so you know bottom line is that I mean the the moral of this story is keep it simple. I think one of the things that I noticed that a lot of people are doing because of the podcast ecosystem and I'm somewhat to blame for this because they think you know we do put on different types of things but we've really narrowed that down a lot is that my advice would be that what I have noticed in my own investing success track record over the last 10 years is the stuff that makes money tends to be pretty boring right like real estate I mean at least I've done so many things in the last 10 years and you know the thing that keeps paying me is the stuff that's the most boring. So don't go look out look for shiny objects okay don't look for foreign investments don't look for you know crazy stuff when it comes to your bread-and-butter stuff keep it boring right I mean seriously you know you've got a if you're a limited partner you find a with an operator that keeps delivering why are you looking like for 10 different things. Okay I understand there's a need for some diversity but okay maybe two or three different things and maybe similar types of you know you find good operators you stick with them but you don't need like ten of those I mean it's silly right, just pick a few things and if there's some you know stuff like Bitcoin or something like that really interests you and that's kind of fun for you then you want to buy some you know vintage cars or something like that do that, but stay boring. There's an eloquence about boring that I have experienced in the last decade that I can just say from my experience over time it's not as boring when you get those nice payouts. So anyway we still have a bunch of questions and I've been going for almost an hour so I'm going cut it off and there will be therefore a part 3 Ask Buck. But I do want to thank you and for for having all these questions and we will have part three of Ask Buck next time. Thanks for joining Wealth Formula Podcast. This is Buck Joffrey signing off.
submitted by Buck_Joffrey to u/Buck_Joffrey [link] [comments]

First time (potential) buyer, what would you do?

Hi. I'm trying to figure out what I should do next and I'd like to hear what other people would do/think.
A bit about me - I'm 26, in London, working in a tech startup and earning base £60k+. I haven't been on this salary for long; it's been a gradual progression from <£17k out of university. I'm not a developer, but I think my job can be remote.
Since my first full time job I've kept close tabs on my income and expenditure; trying to save as much as possible. I currently have around ~£30k in Vanguard Funds + Lifetime ISA. This is money that I could put into a deposit for a house. I have other savings, but they are investments in startups/bitcoin. They aren't easy to access.
I live at home, paying ~£600 p/m for rent + bills. My parents don't earn much so I pay for most home expenses. After student-finance/bills/eating-out/gym/holiday-savings, I can save around £2,000 of my ~£3,300 income after taxes per month. So in theory I can manage savings of £24k a year.
Some new developments have popped up around my area, I went for a viewing (mostly out of interest) - but I have since considered buying. With a discount market sale of 70/30, it would cost me £302k for a 1 bed flat valued at £431k. I wouldn't need to pay rent, I would just own 70% of the property perpetually.
Assuming 4.5x my salary, I'd be eligible for a mortgage of £270k, meaning I have enough to purchase if I wanted to (with a £32k deposit).
Question is, do I? If I save longer, I could try to buy a 2 bedroom property, move in and earn income from one of the rooms with a lodger.
Or I could stay at home, or start renting somewhere else, and buy a cheap investment property somewhere away from London?
Should I buy a boat? A caravan? I have looked. Mooring costs are extortionate around London and caravans can be dangerous/illegal. They're also a big lifestyle change from what I'm used to.
Should I buy at all? I haven't travelled much outside of Europe. Could I work overseas for a British company, and get paid in £'s whilst spending for example Thai currency? Brexit is a thing, but I haven't really considered it much to be honest.
I'm 100% scared of the idea of owing a bank £270k+ for the next 25 years and needing a job to pay it off. Is renting a bad idea?
Are there other options? What would you do? What are your plans? What do you regret? What would you have done differently?
Thanks!
submitted by propprop123 to UKPersonalFinance [link] [comments]

BITCOIN ACCEPTED HERE! We're a Thailand vacation rental website that accepts bitcoin for rental payments.

Hi Everyone,
We started accepting bitcoin from some of our rental customers last year and found the process to be fun, easy, and quick. Our rental customers liked that they could safely pay for their vacation rental from overseas without expensive bank transfer fees. Our business has been around for over 7 years and we mainly focus on rental properties in the Central Thailand area, such as Hua Hin, Pranburi, Cha-Am, & Kui Buri.
Check out our website with lots of vacation rental options in Hua Hin, Thailand if you're interested: www.executive-homes-huahin.com, or www.siamsociety.com
submitted by ViolentSugar to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Forget money transfer. Ripple/XRP and the big fish.

I am not reporting any news. This is just a theoretical discussion. I came across this link in the xrpchat forum.
It is a visualization of all money in existence. http://money.visualcapitalist.com/worlds-money-markets-one-visualization-2017/ It really gives perspective on Ripple's (and blockchain's) potential applications.
If anyone is courageous enough to go through all of it, you will see how tiny Bitcoin is compared to all the money in existence, that it's almost laughable (and Ripple is much smaller). People quote all day about total daily Swift transfers and what would be the price of Ripple if it would capture 10% of that blah blah blah. Boooring.
The key word here is payments. Payments are necessary to buy or sell (or move) any asset. Let's take a look at potential payments that blockchain (and Ripple) could serve:
  1. "The market capitalization of all of the world's stock market is equal to $73 trillions". Here is a market for you. Buying and selling of stocks, globally. Currently settles in 3 days. How would you like to speed things up a bit?
  2. The world's gold. Worth $7.7 trillion. Ripple and/or Blockchain-powered precious metals exchanges?
  3. Global money supply: Narrow money $36.8 trillion, Broad money $90.4 trillion. Who controls the money supply? Central banks. How can the inject to or withdraw money from the circulation? Using blockchain technology. Why would they need to do it faster? I don't know, perhaps because if you bail out a bank on Friday evening it might cost $10 billion but if you bail out the same bank on Monday morning it might cost $100 billion.
  4. Global debt - currently at $215 trillion - 325% (yes, you read that correctly) of world GDP. That includes private and public debt. Who issues public debt? Governments. How can they get paid? Using blockchain technology and/or Ripple. What is wrong with the current system? Well you need to pay Goldman Sachs a fuckton of money to distribute those bonds. How can governments pay their monthly, 3-month, 6-month installments or for bonds maturing? Using blockchain technology and/or Ripple. Same for private debt: credit card payments, mortgage payments, corporate bonds. You can pay for it or receive payment for it using Ripple and/or blockchain.
  5. Global real estate - Valued at $217 trillion. I won't get into this too much because it's very much related to mortgages and loans and the role of the banks in that respect isn't going away anytime soon. However, think for a minute how many payments that sum accounts for globally, if individuals/businesses are making or receiving payments for a property they buy, sell or lease (it's cross-border if the owner is overseas)
  6. Last but not least. Derivatives. Currently valued at "it's so fuckin' much that nobody fuckin' knows". Includes futures contracts, forward contracts, options, warrants and swaps. Low end estimate: $544 trillion. High end estimate: $1.2 QUADRILLION. Sorry for the caps. Yes, you read that correctly. Currently settles at: 3 days. Wanna speed things up a bit? Are XRP's used to buy or sell derivatives at the moment? No. Can they be used in the future? You bet.
So for anyone courageous enough to read the whole visualization, did you see how tiny Bitcoin is compared to global stock markets, gold, global money supply, global debt, global real estate, and derivatives market? And all of this does not include business payments and peer-to-peer payments (hopefully someone can give us the numbers for that too).
Now think that Ripple/XRP is a fraction of Bitcoin. Look me in the eye and tell me its value will not go up if/when it gets adopted. I won't believe you.
submitted by kramun to Ripple [link] [comments]

What should I do with my money?

I want to ask what you would do in my situation. I have read all the literature on reddit about PF5, and etc.
Budgeting: I am self-employed, so my income is not consistent. I'm pretty confident that I have leftover money at the end of each month - my Mint fluctuates pretty wildly, but overall, it's moved up. My expenses are also extremely minimal. My rent is $0, and my transport costs are basically $0 (other than gas). I am very thrifty otherwise; I always look for deals, and I pay very little for things in comparison to everyone else. Other expenses include utilities, property taxes, and some groceries, but I can always not pay for it if I'm in a money crunch. I am very thankful for the situation I'm in. I eat out A LOT, ($500-1500++ monthly) but for the last week I forced myself to spend $0 on eating out (ending up spending ~$20) so I'm very confident I can cut back on that if I have to. Overall, I'm very extremely flexible. I don't budget because I don't see the point.
Emergency Fund: I have a HISA that holds at least 12 months of living expenses, and that assumes that I decide to rent somewhere, and live the way I currently live. If I tighten every single monthly spending category, that # of months goes way up. I owe $0 on credit cards; I have never paid a single cent of interest on any of my credit cards. I also have $0 debt whatsoever, other than $1000 in my student loans to keep the file open for credit score purposes - so the interest is like $5 month, or whatever. I have $0 in my TFSA and my RRSP; I'm not sure which one I should max out first. I'm thinking my RRSP for income tax purposes. I use Simple Tax, so when you enter that you contributed $1,000 into your RRSP, your tax amount to pay drops like $1,000 or $1,500. That seems a lot better than a TFSA which just saves you from paying tax. Obviously, I have no employee matching. I don't think I have any large purchases I need to make. I have no other assets and no other liabilities that I'm aware of. You could guess by now that I'm in my early 20's, hah.
A) Where should I put my money? I was originally thinking of putting four figures down. With that, my above situation still holds true. What would you suggest as the optimal amount? Barring any freak accidents, e.g. where I get audited by the CRA, or a family member overseas all the money they can get, I don't think I will need the funds. That's why I was nervous in the past of locking my funds down into any investments. That said, I would say I feel somewhat comfortable putting down, say, 5k. It's actually terribly irrational, because even if I have to pull my funds out with a 20% loss, that doesn't really matter. But it's being afraid of losing, which is weird because I watched bitcoin go from 13k to 4k.
B) Where should I go? I was looking at Tangerine Investment funds (1.07% MER + fund fees), or Wealthsimple (0.5% MER + fund fees). But I think I can get a referral to Wealthsimple and waive that 0.5% - which means my overall fees would be 0.2% which I'm comfortable with.
Are there any other options, and if so, why? My rationale is that you can easily jump around different banks, and get 2.x-3.0% interest in a HISA. On average, if total fees from a portfolio is 1.5%, the fund needs to return a minimum of 4.5% for it to even make sense assuming interest rates don't change. That's also exclusive of the negative value of any volatility, which I don't know how to quantify.
C) Should I DCA, so I don't 'buy in' at the wrong time? Let's say I put 20% of the allotted amount down. Should I then stretch out deposits of that 80% over 52 weeks, while leaving it in an HISA? Or should it be 16 weeks? Or 50% initially?
  1. What is your intended goals/purpose for this money? I don't know.
  2. What is your timeline, and what is the earliest you expect to need this money? I don't know.
  3. Have you invested in the markets before, and how would you feel if your investment lost a lot of value? I watched bitcoin go from 14k to 4k, and I didn't feel anything. But I kind of had the expectation that BTC could go to $0.
  4. Is this the right first step? Do you already have an emergency fund, and have you considered whether it is sufficient? Do you have any debts that should be paid first? Have you fully utilized any employer match plans? I don't know; see above story.
  5. Finally, we need to understand whether you want to be involved with this portfolio and self-manage purchases and rebalancing it, or if you'd rather all of that was dealt with by your chosen institution?
This is definitely important. I want a 100% hands off approach; it should be the same amount of effort as if my funds were in an HISA - where I login and check my balances occasionally. I am flexible with the institution, as long as it's low fees and trustworthy. I used to jump from bank to bank to grab the highest interest rates until I got lazy recently.
Thank you!
submitted by throaway5551112394 to PersonalFinanceCanada [link] [comments]

CRA workers of Reddit. Need clarification

I recently got a letter in the mail pertaining text that says I may have sent or received international EFTs Electronic Fund Transfers for over $10,000 which may or may not be “income” . It suggested that I can do a VPD or call the number on the letter specifically setup to answer EFT related questions. Letter also stated that this could be anytime after 2015 till now.
I personally don’t ever think I ever sent or received anything close to that amount to or from anyone. I may have sent some money overseas which may only total 5-800 dollars per year to assist family.
What I did did and do do is I closed one Canadian bank account and transferred money via draft to another Canadian bank within Canada. Amount was more than $10,000 but less than $15,000 in total.
I also sold and bought primary property within canada and saw balances and drafts go in at out of my bank around closing time.
I also regularly etransfer funds once or twice a month from my salary receiving bank to mortgage taking bank. Those transfers are around $1-2000 per month.
My question is 1. WHAT DO I DO?!!!!
  1. Is it possible CRA Is confusing my local transfers with international transfers due to either amount being more than $10,000 or accumulate yearly to more than $10,000.
  2. Is there anyone I can speak to that will give me details regarding th transactions in order. I tried calling the number but the rep was only able to give generic information what the letter is for which did not help me.
  3. Do I explain this to my tax guy, VPD or just wait for Audit or jail time for helping my family back home and moving money from one bank to another to pay mortgage...
  4. Sell my house, buy bitcoin move money to another country...
submitted by lurkthenthrow to PersonalFinanceCanada [link] [comments]

60 DoD Week 6: Finances

60 DoD Week 6: Finances
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Ben Franklin
Having a financial plan is vitally important for a number of reasons. What do you think the greatest stressor in relationships is? The lack of sex your wife is giving you? Close one. It’s money, although your shaved balls might think otherwise.
So don’t you think having a plan is critical to fixing your well-being? You have a MAP to get in shape. Why don’t you have a plan for your finances.
This post might better well be served in personal finance, but screw it. I’m going to town. For the folks overseas, some of this content might be US-specific.
On Net Worth
In order to calculate your net worth, you need to take your assets, such as your checking account, savings, house, etc, and subtract your liabilities, your mortgage, credit card debts, and loans, and you’ll get your net worth.
This is a good time to be spreadsheet guy. But instead of counting how many ladies you are seeing or counting how many times you had sex, use Excel for its intended purpose.
Start calculating it annually, quarterly, monthly. Whatever frequency you feel like you need to get a handle on where your net worth is going. For myself, I do this quarterly, though I have my finger on the pulse pretty frequently.
On Budget
You want to get ahead? You have to operate on a budget. Know what you are spending, what you are saving, and where your money is going.
For me, I’ve got it set where it takes me about 7 minutes to log into the various accounts, take certain numbers like food spend and so forth, and plug those numbers into the Excel boxes. Plugging them in allows me to quickly project the next three months spend and where I’ll be. Some numbers are easy to find, like the fixed costs of mortgage and student loans. Some numbers you have to estimate or look up, like variable food costs and gas/electric. I do this about once a month. It doesn’t take long at all – just making sure I have good cash flow and sticking to my budget.
Take the time to do a detailed line item comparison. You should know exactly how much is going where. The real key though is STICKING TO YOUR BUDGET. You have to keep to it in order to meet your goals.
On Financial Literacy
It’s key to have a good understanding on financial literacy. You have to understand things such as what is the market, what is a stock, what is a bond, what is a dividend, what is a mutual fund, and so forth. You have to know what you are investing in. Take your financial knowledge and move it up. There are literally tons of free information out there. Start going to town. And for the advanced players, go learn the ins and outs of your brokerage firm’s website and trading platform – I mean really learn it, not just “Oh, here’s how I do a buy order on a stock.” Learn how to screen for stocks, mutual funds, and bonds effectively.
Side note – If you are in the US, I recommend joining AAII. I have gotten a great deal of value out of my membership to them. A number of HNW individuals I know recommended it to me, though I had joined and got the lifetime membership before I met them.
On Bogleheads
Personally, I’m a Boglehead. Jack Bogle, man, he was the Chad of passive investing. I believe that passive investing (indexing) long term beats active investing long term. So does Warren Buffet. All my research agrees with this from a long term standpoint.
I’m also a fan of creating an Investment Policy Statement
Boglehead Resources
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Bogleheads%C2%AE_investment_philosophy
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/What_the_experts_say_about_investing
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/The_twelve_pillars_of_wisdom / https://web.archive.org/web/20070304091730/http://www.vanguard.com/bogle_site/april272001.html
https://studentloanhero.com/featured/bogleheads-invest/
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/index.php
I would highly encourage you to review these links and check out their philosophy on investing.
On Being a Contrarian
I’m also a fan of being a contrarian. Be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy. You see it with the Bitcoin bubble. You see it when the stock market goes up and down. Oh no, the market is going down… whatever shall we do?!? You stick to your guns. I’m not saying go catch a falling knife. I’m saying that you stick to your plan. There is opportunity when people are fearful, and caution is warranted when people are being greedy. You have to evaluate where we are in the economic cycle as well.
On a Cup of Starbucks and Retirement
You might have seen the example where someone buys a cup of Starbucks every day and then finds out that if they took that money and invested it toward their retirement, over the span of say 30 years they’ll have like an extra 200k. I have two comments on this. First, be frugal, but don’t deny yourself. Don’t let frugality control you. Second, don’t just focus on controlling the little changes like saving a cup of Starbucks every week, focus on the BIG areas. Focus on getting a new job that pays you an extra 40k per year. Focus on saving 100 bucks off your cable (1200 bucks saved per year). Focus on lowering your taxes. What I’m saying is focus on not just the small areas, but also make the bigger impact areas a higher priority. And stop drinking so much Starbucks – make it yourself. Grind the beans, for crying out loud.
On Automating
Automate your finances. Make it EASY for yourself to save money. Set up your automatic bill payments for your credit card, loans, mortgage, and bills. Take advantage of the modern tools nowadays for app/camera based check deposits. Have money taken out of your paycheck before you get it, whether it is for retirement or into a separate savings account, so you can accumulate a rainy day fund. I’ve automated as much as I can, with direct withdrawals taken out for mortgage, credit card payments, gas and electric, and for the other areas like telephone those are automatically paid from the credit card, which then is automatically paid from the checking account. Automating saves time, which is a critical resource.
On Buying a Car
Here’s your resources:
https://www.reddit.com/askcarsales/wiki/index
https://www.reddit.com/askcarsales/comments/19niva/car_buying_faqs/
https://www.reddit.com/askcarsales/comments/4j2okj/what_to_expect_from_your_dealership_visit/
https://www.reddit.com/askcarsales/comments/613jvn/askcarsales_faq_updated_march_2017/
http://fightingchance.com/ - I used these for private market research, and was worth every penny.
There’s a lot more here, but this should get you through the basics. Simply, knowledge is power. The more you know, the more power you have. If you don’t know every single line item that is going into your purchase, whether it is an accessory, taxes, that stupid coating that they try to sell you for $1000 but it’s really just worth $100, etc., then you’re not ready, and you’re more likely to be fleeced.
Just even walking into the dealership and observing other customers and their interactions with the car salesman, it’s like watching sheep. Don’t be a sheep. Be prepared. And be prepared to walk too. Cars are a commodity. You can buy the same car someplace else cheaper. Remember this – cars are a commodity, and there’s lots of dealers out there.
Side note – “But Steel, what about TrueCar? That seems awesome. I’ll just go in, get my TrueCaCostco/KBB/XXX price and I won’t even have to do anything to get a great price.” Let me tell you this. Dealers would be HAPPY to sell you at the TrueCar price all day long. With proper preparation, you can negotiate a far better deal. Last time when preparing, I had a binder. That binder saved me over 9k. Cost me 5 bucks at the local pharmacy. Printed out all my info, was prepared as all get out, and had a prepared offer ready to go (I used my own sheet, not theirs). Be prepared, that’s what I’m saying. And don’t fall for the four square technique. I just chuckled at the different dealerships at how they try to pull that one. Hell, I went through YouTube and viewed a couple of videos on how car salesmen sell, so I had an understanding of their mentality and what they do. Be prepared.
Generally, there are five major parts for buying a car: Trading in your current car, buying your new car, buying options on a car (like that fancy heated steering-wheel), extended warranty, and financing. You should own every single area of this. As an example, when you are talking about trading in your current car, you should ALREADY have your price quote from CarMax in hand, as well as other offers from other dealers. You should know what your car is worth if it were to be sold (remember supply and demand – what is it really worth: what someone will buy it for). You should already have the KBB and Edmunds value of your used car. For your new car, you should have a breakdown of every single thing on it, including options, doc fees and ERT. For your fancy accessories, you should have the MSRP of these accessories, the actual cost of them buying (wholesale parts warehouse), and an estimate in your head on labor costs (cause parts don’t get installed by themselves). For your extended warranty, I would just say that there is a reason why this is one of the most profitable areas of a car dealership. If you simply must have an extended warranty for peace of mind, go find a wholesale warranty. Do your research. Don’t buy from the dealership. Most cars nowadays anyway are built quite well with high standards of quality control, so they’re not failing like they used to. On financing, make sure you set up your own financing before you walk in. It makes life much easier, as the car dealers get money on financing as well. If the dealership can beat your credit union, more power to them. It’s powerful as all get out when you walk in with a prewritten cashier’s check at a super low interest rate and you’re ready when they start asking you how you are going to pay for the car. “Well, I am preapproved for x amount (aka the full amount of the car), but I’d like to see what specials and discounts you have.”
It’s all about how much money you can save in each one of these areas.
Granted if you’re BETA BUCKS and your time is worth more than doing a bit of research, that’s fair. Some folk just walk in and buy a car right there with a minimum of haggling. That’s how much their time is worth to them, and I know a few people who are like this. I’m merely presenting an alternate approach. To me, it was worth the time to save more than a few thousands.
On Buying a House
For many people, a house is the largest purchase that they make in their lifetime. Many of you have already bought houses, so I won’t go into this in detail, but again, from The Millionaire Next Door – “If you’re not yet wealthy, but want to be someday, never purchase a home that requires a mortgage that is more than twice your household’s annual realized income.”
I see a lot of you going “Shit” after reading that.
On a Side Hustle
I didn’t even have to write anything, u/red-sfpplus already wrote an excellent post on this topic - https://www.reddit.com/marriedredpill/comments/7i7x4q/the_financial_hustle/
Learn from his example. And then buy the man a drink.
On What to Do First
"Successful Investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant." - Warren Buffett
First of all, take stock of where you are. Figure out your net worth, and what you have and what you owe (and interest rates). I would say the first thing to do is to have a three to six month emergency fund. This can be done in conjunction with getting rid of high interest debt (such as credit card debt), however if and when you have an emergency, you’re going to need to tap into something.
Start your budgeting process. Know where your money is going. Fix it.
Most people don’t even have a thousand dollars in savings. Don’t be like that.
I would also note that the Personal Finance subreddit has this already diagrammed out in a flowchart in their wiki - https://i.imgur.com/lSoUQr2.png
On Giving Back
So you give back, right. Of course you do. But what I suggest is potentially setting up a charitable fund, so that you can maximize your charitable deduction annually. You can give a larger sum one year, and then less/none the following year – and maximize your deduction the first year. Something to consider. Plus then your charitable fund is invested, will grow with the market (remember you need a plan and asset allocation here as well), and the growth can be given to the charity as well, tax free. I’d recommend Vanguard, but really there are a number of places that do this.
On Habits of Millionaires
From the book The Millionaire Next Door, here are the characteristics of millionaires:
• They live well below their means
• They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
• They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status
• Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
• Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
• They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
• They chose the right occupation.
On Building Wealth
You want to build wealth? Don’t have a high consumption lifestyle! Think for a moment. How much money do you think it takes to maintain an upper-middle class lifestyle vs. how much money do you think it takes to maintain a middle-class/blue collar lifestyle? Bespoke suits. Luxury cars. Bigger house. More property taxes. And so forth. Think of all the stuff you have to purchase to keep up with the Joneses. Cost of cleaning. Cost of buying furniture for that fancy house. Etc.
“But Steel, I don’t care about the Joneses.” Sure you don’t. But your wife does. Watching that HGTV, picking out the stupid pillows that breed like rabbits in your house when you’re not looking. There’s something about a house that factors into the Female Social Matrix.
Frugality is the name of the game. Frugal being “behavior characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources.”
Don’t be wasteful. Don’t have a lifestyle marked by lavish spending and hyper consumption. You want to build wealth? Be frugal.
Most people will not become wealthy in one generation if they are married to people who are wasteful. You can’t accumulate wealth if one of you is a hyperconsumer.
On Offence vs. Defense
So you’re not beta bucks, you’re BETA BUCKS! You make it rain! Good for you. You play great offence. But how’s your defense? How’s your wealth accumulation? Are you spending like there’s no tomorrow? If you want to win the game, you have to play great offence AND defense.
Here’s some questions for you:
• Do you operate on an annual budget?
• Do you know how much you spend each year for food, clothing, and shelter?
• Do you have a clearly defined set of daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and lifetime goals?
• Do you spend a lot of time planning your financial future?
To build wealth, minimize your realized (taxable) income, and maximize your unrealized income (wealth/capital appreciation without a cash flow).
How do you become financially independent? You have to plan, and you have to sacrifice. You sacrifice today for financial independence tomorrow.
On Your Wife & Buy-In
As part of your plan and budgeting, once you have it all set, get buy-in from your wife. But do this not like you are seeking approval from mommy (aka you validation whore you), but matter of factly here is the plan, we are budgeting x amount for these areas. Here is our plan. Set out a vision.
On Financial Vision
Read it and weep - https://www.reddit.com/marriedredpill/comments/3fecgi/first_budget_discussion_leads_to_minor_meltdown/ctnya77/
“One rarely talked-about element of Married Game is a subtle thing known as Vision. Most husbands don’t appreciate what a strong DHV possessing Vision is, and they proceed unaware of the power it can add to their relationship. Most husbands do this because they don’t understand Vision, what it is and how it is manifested, much less the subtle but important role it holds. Let me explain: once upon a time I was working for a personnel agency, and one of my jobs was coaching our people on interviewing techniques. I learned a lot about the process as a result, from both the interviewer and the interviewee side. When it came to my clients who wanted high-quality employees with good technical skills – real talent – I learned the sorts of things that such high-demand technical people wanted in a company. Money, of course, and security and benefits. But beyond that gifted employees want to work for a company with a history, a good culture, and (most importantly) a Vision.
What is Vision? In this context Vision is a manifested idea of the future. Everyone wants to work for a company that’s changing the world and is doing so in a positive, pro-active way. No one wants to work for the company that’s floundering, desperate just to meet its next quarter’s goals. Vision is a generally-stated plan-of-action toward a distant but achievable goal, presented in an enticing enough manner to inspire. It’s short on details and long on generalizations. It’s reflective of inner beliefs, values, and judgments, an indication of character, foresight, and initiative. It should be bold, meaningful, and challenging.”
Now, this quote above is excellent. You need a vision for your life, but you also need a vision for your finances. What would your financial vision be? What does it look like to you? Create it, and then be ready to share that with your family.
On Love of Money
Remember folks, money itself is not the root of all evil. It’s the LOVE of money that causes the problem. When you are so driven to be a better beta bucks to get that coin, and start neglecting yourself, your relationships, etc… you’ve got problems. Money is just a tool in the toolbox. Use it, don’t let it use you. Don’t become a slave to money. Your life doesn’t consist of how many toys you have. And you can’t take it with you when you go.
On Insurance, or Lack Thereof
Would it surprise you to know that most people are underinsured? Make sure that you have enough of the key five types of insurance: health, car, homeowners/renters, life, and disability. Preparing yourself for these situations can save you a lot of pain in the future. Also, make sure you get enough umbrella insurance. Typically they say have enough umbrella insurance to cover your net worth, but I recommend getting a bit more.
A quick note, practically, do not get whole life insurance. Get term insurance, and invest the difference in cost between whole life and term. You’ll be much better off. And yes, this is for 99.9% of situations. The remaining .1% of situations are when someone is really wealthy and there are estate and tax considerations. Aka for most of us, don’t worry about it.
And take care of your health, so you don’t get fat when you are older and have related medical problems. Put. The. Fork. Down.
On Assets and Liabilities, Rich Dad Poor Dad Edition
A number of you have read Rich Dad Poor Dad, and there’s controversy in it. I disagree with a number of items in there, but there is an interesting point in there about how he views assets and liabilities:
“You must know the difference between an asset and a liability, and buy assets. If you want to be rich, this is all you need to know. It is Rule No. 1. It is the only rule. This may sound absurdly simple, but most people have no idea how profound this rule is. Most people struggle financially because they do not know the difference between an asset and a liability.”
He has a simple, non-accounting definition - “An asset is something that puts money in my pocket. A liability is something that takes money out of my pocket.”
Buy assets. I like it. What is out there that you can buy that puts money in your pocket. Stocks. Bonds. Mutual Funds. Real Estate that produces Income. There are a ton of items.
You should also think about getting rid of your liabilities… the giant boat, the private jet, the cluster B horrible sex-depriving wife (you know who you are)… you get the idea.
On Disaster Recovery and Information Security
What were to happen if you were to croak, or your only laptop with all your financial data was stolen or destroyed in a fire along with all your financial papers (see, you should have gotten that fireproof safe)? Would you have a plan on what to do? Would your spouse? Your kids? I would suggest making a backup of your finances, statements, tax returns, and other important papers, and put that on an encrypted USB key with a password that you and your wife knows, and then storing that someplace secure. Note that you can do fancy stuff like cloud storage, and so forth – but you need to have a plan for the worst case scenario.
Additionally, make sure that you use two-factor authentication when you log into your banking accounts (if they have it), as well as don’t repeat your passwords for your financial accounts.
I would even suggest having a separate secured email for your banking accounts, and another one for your personal accounts that get those damn spam emails all the time.
Don’t be stupid with your financial accounts. Using the same password is stupid. Yeah, I’m talking to you.
On Practical Advice
Do get rid of high interest credit cards. If you’ve got a balance on your 29.99% APR credit card and are paying that interest every month, it’s in your best interest to eliminate that debt as soon as possible. You’re not going to get a 29.99% return in a month in the stock market (unless you take on excessive risk for that return, obviously). Try to transfer that balance to a promo 0% interest credit card, and work that down.
Don’t borrow from your 401k. You’re cutting out your future returns. Don’t make that 401k loan your emergency fund, but rather have a separate emergency fund.
Do use credit cards over debit cards, for a whole host of reasons (theft being the primary reason).
Do pay yourself first. Take out at least 10% of your paycheck before it hits your checking account, and start saving.
Don’t pay monthly or annual fees on checking accounts or savings accounts. You shouldn’t be paying a bank to store your money. They should be paying you for that privilege.
Do get solid credit cards that give outstanding rewards. Do your research. Get at least 2% cash back if you can. Shoot for 5% or more. For example, Discover allows you to get 5% cash back in certain categories, and then you can redeem $20 for a $25 gift card to a number of different vendors. Looks like you just got a 6.25% return.
There are plenty of other examples. Do you spend a boatload at Amazon? Get your 5% return. As an example – I get a 5% return on gas using a certain credit card. It’s unlimited throughout the year, and is redeemed as a statement credit, so I don’t have to worry about redemption. I have a certain Amex that I redeem at 4.6% points per dollar spent, plus a 2% general cash back card (some places don’t accept Amex). I could go even crazier, like getting the 3% on restaurants, or churning cards (and there are a lot of sites out there on how to churn successfully), but at some point, it’s not worth it.
Do realize that credit cards make it easy to buy things that you don’t need. Recognize that part of yourself that wants to overspend. Ask yourself, do you need whatever it is you are buying. Would it hurt more if you paid in cash rather than credit. Buying with credit encourages you to buy more than you can afford.
Do shop around for loans/services. I asked my bank what the best car loan they could give me – they said 2.99%. I asked my credit union, and they got me 1.49%. That’s a big difference in interest over the course of a loan. Generally due to how credit unions are structured (and their presence – mostly online), they will have better deals on certain loans than banks, depending on the product.
Don’t delay saving for retirement. Generally, you’ll want to be saving 15% or more of your income for retirement early on. If you don’t save early, the harder it will be.
Do try to simplify your finances. It makes it much more complicated if you chase after the best savings rate for your online bank, and then have many accounts all over the place. The 20 dollars that you get in interest is not worth the complexity and time (aka your most valuable resource) it takes to manage all that stuff.
Don’t use your HELOC unless you have to. I have a large HELOC, but I don’t use it. But who knows when I need access to a large sum of money. And don’t use it in lieu of your emergency fund. You need both.
Do some research into budgeting tools. There’s a lot of people on these threads that recommend YNAB. I personally haven’t used it, so I can’t recommend it one way or the other. I’m old school (and cheap thrifty – why would you pay for something if you can do it yourself). But definitely check those tools out – Mint, Personal Capital, YNAB, budgeting tools through your bank, etc. Also, if your credit card does an annual summary (like Amex does), make sure you look at it to get an idea on where you’re spending – it’s very helpful.
On Tips for Saving Money
There are a ton of ways you can save money. Go ahead and google “how can I save 1000”. Wait, I did that for you - https://www.google.com/search?q=how+can+I+save+1000
Take some time, call up your cell phone providecable provider and see what specials they have. There's a ton of things you can do to save money quickly.
On Too Much Money
Say you’re an ostrich farmer, and are flush with cash. You’re asking yourself, ok, so I’ve maxed out my 401k, I’ve maxed out my Traditional IRA and then backdoored it into a Roth IRA for tax diversification plus the benefits of a Roth. I’m contributing to a 529 plan for the kids. I looked into mega backdooring my Roth but darn it my employer doesn’t let me do that. I’m doing all of the tax advantaged things I can. I still have this extra 300k sitting around – what do I do with it?!? First world problems, amIrite. Again, this comes back to your plan. What’s the short term plan with this money. What’s the long term plan. What’s your risk tolerance. What assets can you invest in that fit in with your plan. You still have to manage your budget, even if you are a 1 percenter.
On the Best Investment and Most Important Resource
I’m a firm believer that the best investment is investing in yourself (and your family and kids), and your most important resource is not money, but time. Learn a skill. Go get a degree. Give your kids a head start. Help your wife accomplish a goal. Do what you can to save time. Money of course helps, but you know what happens when you teach a man to fish.
On Happiness
Is money linked to happiness? Yes, but only to a point - https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/02/26/does-money-equal-happiness-does-until-you-earn-much/374119002/ and https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/12/09/key-money-happiness-may-how-you-spend/94308848/
Honestly, at some point, money just becomes a scoreboard. Money will give you security. It will remove a stressor in your life. It will remove fighting and stress in your relationship (about money, fool). It will allow you to do many things. But eventually, money won’t give you happiness. You have to figure that one out yourself. And of course there’s the joke about “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.” – David Lee Roth.
On Money and Attraction
Money by itself will not make your wife’s panties wet. Keep that in mind. Having and getting money is basic adulting. Same with saving and managing it. You want to get her wet? Get in shape. Lift. Does money boost your status? Sure. Is status one of those areas that has some effect on where you are in the sexual marketplace? Sure. Pure physical attraction? No. Do you really think that making MORE money is going to have your wife give you more sex? Of course not - https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/money-wont-save-beta-males/
Get in shape. Be hawt. And fix your damn teeth so you can smile like you are a somebody.
On a Brief Story
So I was talking to a friend of mine, and I asked him how he and his wife set up the finances. He told me about this system, where his paycheck goes into his checking, his wife’s paycheck goes into his wife’s checking, and they have a joint savings account. Then he went into a convoluted description on how each of them pays certain bills, and how what he’s paying is not fair since he’s paying the mortgage AND property tax AND daycare, etc etc. I thought to myself, man, what a convoluted way to deal with stuff. They would then have multiple financial meetings, and discussion on who pays what, and all this extra stuff. It was just a lack of overall ownership going on.
Just take care of the finances. Figure out a system that works for you. I’m not going to tell you which system is the best, because it’s all dependent on your unique circumstances (example: heavy spender SAHM vs saver career girl, you’ll need to put some deep restrictions on the heavy spender). But own it.
On Who Owns the Finances
You own the finances. Period. End stop. From the prior post on finances, it’s so important that I’m putting it here again:
“At the core: Who do you want in charge of your financial future?
The person interested in maintaining status quo and safety at all costs with your happiness and satisfaction a secondary or minor consideration? Or you?
If you've learned anything here it's that you need to be a captain. Putting your wife in the family alpha role breeds contempt and most of the problems that brought your here. Besides control of sex, family MONEY decision veto power is the key indicator of who is wearing the pants.”
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Overseas Property Ownership and Inheritance: Wills and Thrusts Shanghai Property Show IRS vs. Bitcoin: Why US Crypto Investors Need a Second Passport UK investors favour mining companies with overseas assets as Brexit turbulence rocks market 4 considerations when investing in an overseas property

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Overseas Property Ownership and Inheritance: Wills and Thrusts

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