The number one rule in investing is NEVER PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. To rich people, this means, do not keep all your money in one economy. If that economy goes bust, so does your money. Therefore, keeping their money (even if not all of it) offshore gives rich people the opportunity to diversify their assets and spread any risk.
On the other end of spectrum, for the average American the idea of having a bank account in a foreign country may sound like a fantasy gone mad. If ever, this dream that may never be achievable, or even ridiculous. Afterall, to the average American, a foreign bank account is only for the extremely wealthy or the extremely criminal.
It is without question that Americans have an extremely parochial attitude when it comes to their money. In fact, with older Americans, there is even a distinct sense of suspicion of foreign banking activities. Many Americans believe that we have the best and the safest banking system in the world, so why even consider going anywhere else with your money.
Regardless of whatever reasons, the average Americans could not identify one single advantage for owning a foreign bank account. The word "foreign banking" or "offshore banking" carries with it a stigma that is largely associated with our own misconceptions of the other countries.
On the other end of the spectrum, however, there is a growing segment of Americans who have embraced the merits of offshore banking. To these thousands of legitimate and highly successful businesses and individuals, the word "offshore banking" has become an important tool for accumulating, enhancing, and protecting wealth.
A foreign bank account gives the learned investor the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of various banking activities and blend them into a unique profit-making and tax-saving financial strategy. For the careful and conscientious investor, this very feature of offshore banking is one of the most practical ways of expanding the realm of financial opportunity, because it is one of the most creative ways to diversify your assets.
Accounts held in offshore banks are rarely subject to U.S. state and federal laws and regulations. Offshore banks can also offer a wide range of services well beyond the legal ability of U.S. banks. Through aggressive use of these services, investors can increase their profits, reduce their tax burdens, and raise capital at lower interest rates -- all without the restrictive maze of red tape often required by banks in the United States.
HOW TO OPEN A FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNT
If you plan to visit a country in which you may be banking, you should consider a number of banks. Before you actually travel to visit the bank, it will be to your advantage to first correspond by post or by email. Here are some of the more salient points you should consider when selecting a bank:
>> Does it provide the banking services you require? See our section on types of account for more information about different types of services you can have.
>> How large is the bank? Is it a multi-national operating offshore, or is it an independent bank that is local to the country where it operates.
>> How secure is your investment? Does the government under which the offshore bank operates offer Deposit insurance?
>> Communications capabilities. Does the bank have internet service. Can you communicate by phone, fax, and email?