Author Topic: NYT Magazine: "How to Hide $400 Million" - Offshoring & Non-mustachian lifestyle  (Read 2983 times)

elysianfields

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
  • Location: Europe
Interesting article, the subtitle of which reads, "When a wealthy businessman set out to divorce his wife, their fortune vanished.  The quest to find it would reveal the depths of an offshore financial system bigger than the U. S. economy." 

The businessman seemed especially keen to flaunt and consume his way through life; the more sensible of the two, the wife, would repeat, "No, we don't read it," often in vain. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/magazine/how-to-hide-400-million.html

talltexan

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2315
It's gripping drama, although, wow, why would you be here if you had access to this world? Are there billionnaires out there who dream of the simplicity of the Mustache?

SEAKSR

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Rainy Alaska
  • Great day for water landings!
Reminds me of the following:

Regina Rich: These are our treasured possessions!
Van Dough: But where's the gold... the diamonds... the negotiable bearer bonds? The money!
Van Dough: WHERE'S THE MONEY?
Richard Rich Sr.: In banks, where else? And the stock market, real estate...
Van Dough: No! Is this some kind of joke? You're telling me there isn't one single platinum bar, or emerald, or $1,000 bill in this *entire mountain*?

From the movie Richie Rich

It's gripping drama, although, wow, why would you be here if you had access to this world? Are there billionnaires out there who dream of the simplicity of the Mustache?

Ahh, a fair number of those folks did the same that we do... spend less than they take in.

talltexan

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2315
I believe that working a semi-normal job and saving and investing can dependably get you to $3-6 million over a lifetime. Many people on this website could do this if they didn't stop working in order to live off a stash of ~$1.5 million.

In order to get into the realm of $400 million, you really have to be breaking that formula and starting some kind of business, or else working a "big job", the kind that would represent undeniable success in the highest levels of business.

bobechs

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1068
I believe that working a semi-normal job and saving and investing can dependably get you to $3-6 million over a lifetime. Many people on this website could do this if they didn't stop working in order to live off a stash of ~$1.5 million.

In order to get into the realm of $400 million, you really have to be breaking that formula and starting some kind of business, or else working a "big job", the kind that would represent undeniable success in the highest levels of business.

Or get it the old-fashioned way:  steal it.

meghan88

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 669
  • Location: Ontario
In this case, the businesses that made all the money were on the shady side.  And they managed to siphon off most of the earnings by creating other companies to contract with the original companies to manage them, and then the money moved through a series of shell companies.  From the article:

"James S. Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey, calls the offshore financial world the “economic equivalent of an astrophysical black hole,” holding at least $21 trillion of the world’s financial wealth, more than the gross domestic product of the United States."

Vertical Mode

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 504
  • Location: Boston, MA
Read this article with interest, especially as the Mossack Fonseca leak wasn't all that long ago. Dunno about you all, but I definitely learned a few interesting things about Cook Island Trusts and the mechanisms one can use to "offshore" money - I was always curious HOW one would actually get this money offshore without someone realizing where it all went.

Reminds me of that quote from the movie "Swordfish". "He lives in a world beyond your world..."

Academically, I like the idea of minimizing tax liability through all (legal) means available, but I'd certainly be afraid of making a misstep and having the IRS lower the boom. Doesn't seem worth the effort, especially given the numbers most of us here are working with in our FI calculations. Then again, if I was getting taxed on a $400MM fortune, perhaps I'd be singing a different tune.

jinga nation

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1104
  • Location: 'Murica's Johnson
  • Left, Right, Peddlin' Shite
I have an in-law relative who works with high net worth individuals across W. Europe (say 10M Euros and up). His role is tax advice, basically reduce taxable investments from multiple sources from multiple countries, all within the laws of each nation and the EU.

He said most of his clients can walk on the street without protection as they won't be recognized. They aren't flashy, don't use social media or use it very little, we're talking young to old. Money is a great attractor for trouble, then you need bodyguards, super techy alarm systems, bulletproof cars, etc. These high net folks vacation like normal people, eat and live like the average person, and drive the EU equivalent of a Ford Crown Vic, wear department store clothing.

As a result, my relative has adopted the same habits. He said he would not need to work for 20 years. He only works as long there is a technical challenge, thus very specific contracts for a few months at a time. He often takes months off. He doesn't drive a car as he lives in a major EU city with excellent public transportation. He's said he has a lot of clients who don't own a car for daily use, but may own classic vehicles for weekend drives.

When the Panama Papers were leaked, he wasn't surprised. He said that he recognized several names; he refused to take them on as clients as they wanted him to bend/break the laws for tax restructuring.

TL;DR: You work for people with a Mustachian mentality, you end up adopting their values.

joleran

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 151
Quote
In order to get into the realm of $400 million, you really have to be breaking that formula and starting some kind of business, or else working a "big job", the kind that would represent undeniable success in the highest levels of business.

Or get it the old-fashioned way:  steal it.

Stealing it is the old old-fashioned way, the new old-fashioned way is to inherit it, and the new fashioned way is to make an app that goes viral.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 03:17:09 PM by joleran »

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Quote
In order to get into the realm of $400 million, you really have to be breaking that formula and starting some kind of business, or else working a "big job", the kind that would represent undeniable success in the highest levels of business.

Or get it the old-fashioned way:  steal it.

Stealing it is the old old-fashioned way, the new old-fashioned way is to inherit it, and the new fashioned way is to make an app that goes viral.

My plan was always to marry someone who had done one of those things. Seemed much easier than going through the work of amassing it myself.

Might be even easier to just be a hanger on as mentioned in the article; is there a forum dedicated to mooching off obliviously wealthy people that would allow me to read up on the finer points of said lifestyle?

meghan88

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 669
  • Location: Ontario
Quote
In order to get into the realm of $400 million, you really have to be breaking that formula and starting some kind of business, or else working a "big job", the kind that would represent undeniable success in the highest levels of business.

Or get it the old-fashioned way:  steal it.

Stealing it is the old old-fashioned way, the new old-fashioned way is to inherit it, and the new fashioned way is to make an app that goes viral.

My plan was always to marry someone who had done one of those things. Seemed much easier than going through the work of amassing it myself.

Might be even easier to just be a hanger on as mentioned in the article; is there a forum dedicated to mooching off obliviously wealthy people that would allow me to read up on the finer points of said lifestyle?
I think you'd need to be at least a few of the following:

(1) Handsome / gorgeous
(2) Witty / entertaining
(3) Sycophantic
(4) Well-connected

If you dare, you might try to stomach the contents of this article:  http://www.businessinsider.com/rich-people-choose-friends-2014-12


Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Well I'm clearly two of the four and could probably learn to be a least one more; hopefully I'm not too humble though...