Storing Gold Overseas

The USG is set on a path on which it will inevitably have to destroy the currency. The only question is, How quickly? I believe it will happen faster than most expect. And I expect capital controls to be enacted soon.

With the goal of preserving wealth, I want to store some gold overseas. The intrepid Arthur B. has given me some advice, but I thought it wise to open up the question to this blog's wise readers.

My target country is Singapore because its government is one of the few in the world that is not destroying its own currency, has relatively smart economic policies, and respects business. But I'm open to other suggestions. I've read elsewhere that it's not that difficult to open a bank account in Singapore as a US citizen and rent a safe deposit box.

Apparently, it's legal to transport gold out of the US. So one strategy might be to buy gold here in the US and take it to Singapore. I've heard that there might be a limit--$10,000--but am not totally sure. The problem with this approach is that some TSA idiot will surely freak out, start asking questions, and possibly put me on a terrorist watch list. I don't want to raise a single eyebrow.

I've also been told that the properties of gold allow you to walk through the metal detector gate carrying it. That would allow gold coins in your pocket to sneak through undetected. But that limits the practical amount of gold sneaked through to about $10,000, I think.

Another option is to buy gold in Singapore and then deposit it there. How can I do this? Can I withdraw, say, $50,000 from an ATM and buy gold and put it in safe deposit boxes (over several days with multiple trips)? Will a flag be sent to the USG because I'll be using a US bank account? Will anyone take a credit card (my credit limit is not as high as the amount of gold I want to buy unfortunately)?

Can I wire the funds to a Singapore bank, and will that raise any flags with the USG?

Apparently, US citizens with a passport do not need to obtain a visa to visit Singapore.

Share this

What leads you to believe

What leads you to believe that currency devaluation will happen faster than most expect? What makes you think you know better than the market? (A question every investor should constantly be asking themselves, no?)

And why gold? Why not foreign currency reserves, foreign bonds, foreign stocks, diamonds, other precious commodities, etc?

Agree on currency

If your gold is safe in Singaporean banks, then your Sing dollars are probably safe as well, and vice versa. So you're double-insuring (gold, SG), but both hinge on the honor of the Sg government.

I'd recommend getting your money's worth of that one point of failure and opening, say, a Singaporean-based brokerage account. The benefit is your money keeps growing, and you can diversify the investment to non-Sg (Swiss companies, etc).

What leads you to believe

What leads you to believe that currency devaluation will happen faster than most expect? What makes you think you know better than the market? (A question every investor should constantly be asking themselves, no?)

I have a giant ego.

And why gold? Why not foreign currency reserves, foreign bonds, foreign stocks, diamonds, other precious commodities, etc?

Every currency, of any stature, is going to go bust. If currencies are bad, bonds are worse. Foreign stocks are something I don't know at all; it would be foolish for me to invest in them. Diamonds are better but are becoming more difficult to evaluate in authenticity as fakes are becoming easier to make. Other precious commodities have good potential, but most are either too low in value (silver) to hold in any significant amount, and others have too underdeveloped markets. Can you go to the local platinum dealer down the street and buy some?

The only other investment I find compelling is foreign real estate, but buying say, an apartment in Singapore, would cost more than I have.

"I've also been told that the

"I've also been told that the properties of gold allow you to walk through the metal detector gate carrying it."

Depending on how much gold it is, it WILL set off the metal detector. If you leave it in your bag they will probably do a bag check on it, but you can ask for a private screening so nobody else sees that you are walking around with something that valuable. Joking about how it isn't really gold probably wouldn't hurt either.

No problem

[S]ome TSA idiot will surely freak out, start asking questions, and possibly put me on a terrorist watch list. I don't want to raise a single eyebrow.

Don't want to raise a single eyebrow? Simple: Carry enough gold to cause the TSA idiot to raise both eyebrows. I mean, duh.

But wait -- what if he has a unibrow? Among TSA employees, this likelihood can't be discounted. Ok, back to the drawing board....

Why move it offshore?

So you think that the government is likely to confiscate gold, again? The first time was because they could not meet the demands for gold in their gold backed currency. We are a fiat currency now, no such pressure exists. Why do you think off shoring gold is wise?

good question

You're right that the danger in owning gold is less than during FDR's reign. But I'm extremely paranoid in general about everything.

As I see capital controls in general terms, they are a way for the govt to squeeze as much wealth as possible from citizens when the govt can't pay its dues. So it does everything in its power--inflate, tax trade, tax income, tax death, tax everything--to acquire its citizens' wealth. So I wish to move a part of my wealth overseas.

Now, the US could go after overseas wealth, just as it goes after overseas income, but I think overseas wealth is one step removed from wealth in the US. Before it taxes overseas wealth, it will simply say, "You can't move wealth overseas." I want to offshore some of my assets before that time comes.

One reason why overseas property might be a better investment is because it's pretty much impossible for the US govt to repatriate.

Interesting...

Will anyone take a credit card (my credit limit is not as high as the amount of gold I want to buy unfortunately)?

Every coin I have purchased was with cash, from brick and mortars who have prominent signs that state "no credit/debit cards". You may be able to find a vendor that is willing to part with coin for plastic, but I never have.

With the goal of preserving wealth, I want to store some gold overseas.

It may be a better idea to hide the coinage here in the states where you can have easy access to it. Have you considered caching it in a hidden location on your property? If you are that paranoid about wealth confiscation, I cannot believe that you would trust ANY bank.

My question to you; Do you feel that currency destruction in the US could lead to societal disruption?

I'll definitely keep some here in the US buried somewhere safe

I trust US banks least of all, multinational banks slightly more, and independent foreign banks slightly more. If I'm going to move wealth overseas, I'll have to "trust" somebody.

Do you feel that currency destruction in the US could lead to societal disruption?

I don't know. Argentina went bust about 10 years ago and there was little societal disruption. Greece is in some sort of currency crisis about half the time (literally) and not much really changes over the long term. Defaults have been going on since the dawn of time, and quite frequently at that.

OTOH, there were indeed riots in Greece recently, though not very severe. And the students in California rioted when education spending was cut.

I guess we'll see.

Do you purchase locally?

I plan to buy from goldline.com or another outfit like them. I could purchase from the World Bank Credit Union (where I have an account), but that requires I pay DC sales tax on the transaction. I would think any brick and mortar purchase would suffer a sales tax premium of 5 to 8 percent based upon what state you are purchasing in.

Truthfully, I don't have any physical gold yet

At various times over the last decade, I've been in gold mining stocks (and I'd have done better simply buying and holding), but I always viewed physical gold as a play on the breakdown of society, whereas gold mining stocks were investments on inflation with a lot of leverage.

It's only after the bailouts/TARP/Obamacare that I've become spooked about hyperinflation and capital controls and sought to buy physical gold. So I'm still looking for an entry point, and I don't know where exactly I'll buy it.

Compare the sales tax of a

Compare the sales tax of a brick and mortar to the massive markup of outfits like goldline.com and you will see that if you want to get gold on the cheap, you buy locally.

If you MUST buy from an online outfit, last I compared prices midasresources.com beat out goldline by a significant margin.

Suggest you study this a bit more and learn...

Read Lifeboat Strategy by Nestmann, $95. Here is more valuable real world knowledge on how and what to do re gold or silver, keeping it near by or in another country, etc.

Treat this topic with a bit more depth of thought and you will realize, I believe, how much and what you do depends on your personal wealth and ability to travel far or near by.

A personal needs assessment of wealth and PT potential status will serve you well.

You planning on emigrating?

If not, how is gold in Singapore going to do you any good when the system fails?

If owning gold is such a good deal then why do the people who own gold prefer to have my cash?

Over the years, the price of gold paces inflation thus it is NOT an "investment. The people who make money on any commodity make it on the trading, not the owning.

Say you have a tin can of gold coins buried in your back yard and the system crashes. You think you can take a gold coin to the gas station and buy gas with it? When the word gets out that you have gold you ready to defend it with force?

If not, how is gold in

If not, how is gold in Singapore going to do you any good when the system fails?

I have personally changed my own tune regarding that. I think total systemic failure of the world economy due to a USD crash is highly unlikely, nations seem to be able to ride out devaluation and the eventual collapse without total societal disruption. This doesn't mean we wont see something akin to a great depression though.

If owning gold is such a good deal then why do the people who own gold prefer to have my cash?

They have payroll to meet, which must by law (under threat of death or dungeon) be paid with cash. They also have bills and other obligations that they must make, and cash is still king for that. Buying gold is about time preference, and I am pretty sure that those gold sellers already have significant stockpiles of their own.

Truly it is not an investment, but a store of wealth for those who are purchasing at this point. The investment is being done by those commodities traders who are purchasing low in bulk and then reselling it piecemeal for a nice profit.

Say you have a tin can of gold coins buried in your back yard and the system crashes. You think you can take a gold coin to the gas station and buy gas with it? When the word gets out that you have gold you ready to defend it with force?

In case of societal collapse, the gold wont be worth trading until society springs back. Otherwise a single gold ounce could buy you a tremendous amount of fuel, if anyone was selling, which I doubt they would be. This is why junk silver is a good idea if you are of the survivalist persuasion, once commerce returns you wont want to be trading with gold, otherwise you would be getting ripped off.

Alas, as you said Bill, the coin aint worth shit if you can be laid low and plundered for your loot. The survivalist mantra that one should follow - after medical and weapon training - goes something like; Beans, Bullets, Bandaids and Bullion. Bullion being last on your stockpile list for a reason.

As a side note:
Col. Jeff Cooper called bullets "ballistic wampum", because it would be worth more than anything else when it comes to bartering after a total societal collapse.

gld: keep this in mind

read it