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In 1958 Disney won the Best Documentary award for filming “White Wilderness” as a nature documentary of a supposedly natural phenomenon of droves of lemmings following one another leaping off the cliff to their deaths in a mass suicide ritual. The event had some factual basis, but was admittedly a slight exaggeration. Nonetheless, the expression "like lemmings off the cliff has stuck as part of our lexicon and is used as a metaphor to describe the physiological human and animal group behavior of actions absent reasoned thought.
What’s more, it is said that there are three types of people in life. First, there are those that make it happen. Second, those who watch it happen. And the third group who wonder what happened. I’m sure you know plenty of people that qualify for the third group going through life with no clue and are bewildered with their surroundings. Like lemmings, about half way down off the cliff’s edge – but before hitting rock bottom - they wonder how they got in their predicament.
But the majority of people sit back and watch as “stuff happens.” They are intelligent enough to see and observe the changes going on around them, and they often complain that things aren’t right. Like the lemmings about 50 feet back before the cliff’s edge, they see what’s about to occur and the carnage at the bottom of the cliff, but they keep running full throttle caught up with group behavior. In due time they, too, find their destiny in the heap at the bottom of the cliff.
It’s those special lemmings that step outside the crowd behavior and find a new direction to travel. These few, astute members of a special group are the ones that make something different happen.…at least for themselves. Naturally, someone has to be around to create the next generation of lemmings. Those that belong to this elite group are the ones that survive to see another dawn.
By now you probably see the analogy drawn between our human behavior today and Disney’s story about lemmings going off the cliff. Which of the three categories do you fit into? Are you merely complaining about those events unfolding around you, but still find yourself caught up in the flow of it? Or are you simply bewildered with the “stuff” going on?
If you think you fit into that elite group that is both astute enough to understand what’s happening, then what steps are you prepared to take for the New Year to avoid getting sweep off the cliff with the crowd for what’s ahead?
Think about this for a moment. What steps have you taken recently to avoid getting swept up with the crowd to protect your assets? Are you ready to put your thoughts into action as a firm New Year’s resolution that doesn’t become forgotten after next week?
We’ll continue to do our part and try to keep you informed for another year.
In past newsletters we discussed dozens of topics on asset protection and offshore living and investing. Past Articles ran the gamut from the time honored question "Is offshore legal?", to how border controls affect you, and America’s Exit Tax.
And during the past year, many of you were interested in offshore banking jurisdictions as we traveled down the road into a crisis of capitalism, and we looked at ways to survive the financial crisis. And to make sure you were well informed, we discussed the offshore mutual funds trap and how to protect assets in a changing world. We finished off the year with a fresh perspective on "USA Self Destruction or Optimism?
For those forward thinking individuals, we discussed what international planning means today, whether “offshore” is a risk management tool, and importantly, how to manage assets in an international trust, and what an international trust can do for you.
There are many more topics archived on our site under Past Articles.
Many of our long time readers know “How to Use an International Trust for Investing and why “Offshore Risk Management” is a valuable tool for protecting and preserving assets, whether due to political and social uncertainty, or against a litigation gone crazy society. We have also answered the question of “What Exactly is an International Trust?” Many more topics are covered in our books How to Legally Protect Your Assets and Offshore Living & Investing.
Remember, there are really two financial battles in life: the first is creating wealth, and the second is keeping it. Many are learning today that the second battle is much more difficult than the first.
Here’s to your health and wealth for a better and brighter New Year.
Until next time…..
David A Tanzer, Esq.
JD, BSc, Ph.D (Hon)
For more information visit or email to David is the author of “How to Legally Protect Your Assets” and “Offshore Living and Investing.”
David A Tanzer & Assoc., PC.

Vail, CO USA:
Tel. (970) 476-6100
Fax (720) 293-2272

Auckland, New Zealand:
Tel. (64) 9 353-1328
Fax (64) 9 353-1328

Brisbane, Australia:
Tel. (61) 7 3319 6999
Fax (61) 7 3319 6999

(Licensed to Practice Law in U.S. States & Federal Courts;
Assoc. Member Auckland, N.Z. District Law Society - Foreign Lawyer; &
Assoc. Member Queensland Law Society, AU - Foreign Lawyer)
The comments herein are not intended to constitute a legal or tax opinion regarding any specific legal or tax issue as additional issues may exist; does not reach a conclusion with respect to any specific legal or tax issue addressed herein or any additional issues not included; and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding legal or tax obligations or penalties with respect to issues in or outside the scope of matters discussed herein.
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