For my international friends, many of the American techniques (in the news) are available in your home countries. I have been applying finance, across four continents, for more than 25 years.
I wish I was more skillful.
Whether your favorite billionaire is a Cuban, a Koch, or a Buffett, we can learn a lot from insiders. A constant refrain from wealthy insiders is “complexity creates opportunity for the system to be gamed for economic benefit.”
Finance is a complex system. The system has been gamed extensively.
- Offshore accounts (Panama Papers type stuff)
- Thinly-capitalized investment vehicles, with lots of debt
- Applying non-cash losses today, while deferring cash gains to tomorrow
- Receiving preferential tax rates on gains associated with financial work
- Using trusts to avoid estate and generation skipping taxes
- Using special accounts to shelter income and gains across generations
- Income reclassification to avoid income and payroll taxes
If the collective wants to run the system like that then I’ll bow to its will. However, I’m not sure the collective knows what’s up.
Like professional sports, my beef isn’t with the system. What irks me is the lack of integrity when insiders pretend the system is different than reality. The politics of the people I named above are different but their observations are often similar.
I’m grateful I can explain my personal reality without fear of banishment or loss.
Living a life you can disclose saves a lot of suffering.