Visa and passport programs have been around for decades and focused on giving individuals; particularly business-persons and travellers, the ability to interact around the globe with minimal hassle.
Traditional programs emanated from Caribbean countries which provided only citizenship/passport and visa-free travel. This involved a donation to the government in exchange for the passport and citizenship. In 2008 the “credit crunch crisis” hit many economies. Europe was hard hit and golden visa PR programs were introduced to help with recapitalising the European economy. Countries like Malta, Spain and Cyprus quickly came to market.
Many nations suffer from either political or economic uncertainty and in many cases, both. Political issues revolve around rights; like where to work or study, personal safety and security and property rights. Economic certainty is determined by a business-friendly environment, efficient government infrastructure and administration, fair taxation and a strong currency. Where a country lets its citizens down this is reflected in either physical or financial emigration or both. Financial emigration is diversification of assets, investments and savings across stable economies and hard currencies. Physical emigration is the option to relocate or retire to a stable country, either now or in the future.
The mainstream concept of residency by property investment became the firm favourite for those wishing to have the option of dual residency and or citizenship in another country and also to make their “money work.” These PR golden visa programs require an investment into property typically from €300 000 to €500 000 plus legal and application fees. For a family of four (minor children) immigration fees vary widely, from €8 500 to €40 000. It all depends on the provider of the service and which country is chosen. In return, applicants receive permanent residency for life and future generations. Immediate citizenship has different parameters.
Moving countries is an emotional process. You leave behind memories, family and friends. But if you have severe infringement of rights, there is no personal safety and you add to this the declining standards of living, deciding becomes easier.
At the very least individuals and family must protect current and future living and retirement standards by diversifying into hard currency assets and earn hard currency passive income.
The big question is how and what asset class? The oldest and most robust of asset classes is property. After food man needs shelter to survive.
We will soon land on Mars and we will need shelter to survive and thrive. Shelter might change shape, colour and form, but it is still shelter and mankind either owns their shelter or rents from others who provide such shelter.
Why people invest?
“In the majority of investments (shares, art, jewellery, bitcoin, unit trusts etc.), you are hoping to buy something that will appreciate in value, then sell it later for a profit.”
Experienced investors don’t bet on appreciation
Financial freedom is a gift that allows you to earn income irrespective of whether you’re suntanning, travelling etc. Thus, wise investors purchase assets like properties on the basis that it will generate more income than it costs to own.
For these investors, it’s about positive cash flow; they don’t care what the market does. If prices drop, they are safe. If prices rise, they have more options.
The ‘foundation of serious wealth’ is property
The financially independent and wealthy invest some 25-45% of assets in property (Direct ownership of residential and commercial property and indirect ownership through funds and shares). This excludes their primary residence.
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