In the business world, Germany is known as a powerhouse manufacturer of high-quality, higher-end goods - particularly in the Business-to-Business markets. The key to this success is exceptional efficiency and productivity - two critical keys to success in a developed country that needs to pay developed-country wages to their workers. However, that's only the stereotype and in today's feature, Bill Drake attempts to drill down deeper into the classic German business and management mentality
As a general rule, I don't pay much attention to the talking heads on the news networks nor the politicians who argue with each other about who can better butter-up the voters - if I want to see chimpanzees screaming at each other, I can go to the zoo. However, there is occasionally a time when they are of some use... and that is when you need to get a sense of what the general population spends their time thinking about. Nowadays, that seems to be some generalized sense of worry followed by a "we need those guys in government to do something about it".
For those that have followed IM for a while, you’ll likely have noticed two common themes driving the quest for internationalization. The first is opportunity. It’s no secret that many parts of the developed world have entered into a severe decline.
To say that holding some gold or silver in physical form is a good idea would be somewhat of an understatement. Most of our readers will appreciate that the metals were used as money long before abstract fiat currencies took that place. And, it's increasingly likely that at some point in the relatively near future, gold and silver may take their rightful place once more as everyday instruments of trade rather than simply a speculation.
It's a step most people won't take, but for the right individual the life of a permanent traveller (or "PT" for short) can be one of excitement, richness and variety. Ian Oliver is one such person. Currently based in Eastern Europe, he picked up stakes some time ago to live life as a citizen of the world. Perhaps this is something for you as well. Or perhaps not. Either way, useful lessons follow that are relevant to our ongoing internationalization conversation - straight from the grizzled horse's mouth.
While the name "International Man" may be gender specific, the stories and suggestions we offer are certainly not intended to be. There are a number of readers that fit in the "International Woman" column and today's featured article is just for them. In the piece, expat writer Erica Knecht speaks to us on a very personal level about finding these new roles through her experiences living overseas as an "expat wife". A Canadian now living in Japan, she has also lived in China and India, following her husband as he moved around from job to job - through the good, the bad, the highs and the lows.
Jeff talks about one reader who had some choice words, calling him a "chattering nabob". (The comment is particularly interesting as the very similar "nattering nabobs" was coined by Spiro Agnew, Vice President under Richard Nixon who became only the 2nd US Vice President to resign during his term and the first due to criminal allegations) What caused such a strong reaction? Jeff discusses the topic in today's article...
The idea that Europe might represent the next great opportunity may well receive some skepticism from our readers... and rightly so.
While Mark Svoboda and his wife "spent an incredible few years in the US", both feel that it is time for them to find their next America - a place that values personal freedom and offers economic opportunities.
Some of your friends, family and associates will never buy gold. Others want you to tell them what to do and exactly when to buy. In one sense, advice applied to those marauders of the picnic basket apply just as readily here: Don't feed 'em. If you do, prepare for potential consequences, as Jeff Thomas explains in today's feature.
If you've been following the news recently, you'll be familiar with Italy's struggles to avoid becoming the next Greek tragedy. To accomplish this difficult task, new Prime Minister and technocrat "Super" Mario Monti is attempting to introduce an aggressive austerity budget. While yet to be passed by legislators, this decree has already been signed by the Italian head of state. Desperate times, desperate measures, eh?
There is no doubt that China is a major force in today's world. Indeed, the "Middle Kingdom" is no longer a "sleeping dragon" and is shaking the world, just as Napoleon predicted.
When we think about second passports, exotic locations such as Singapore or Uruguay often come to mind. But could it be that an American's best bet for second citizenship lies just north of the border?
International Man receives many comments from readers, both by email and in the comments area of an article. As one might expect, some support the argument made in the piece and other (sometimes vehemently) disagree. This is particularly true with one of our most consistent authors, Jeff Thomas. Today, Jeff addresses some of the notes received on past articles...
It might come as no surprise that a great cross-section of our members hold precious metals as a hedge against inflation, and as part of their personal asset protection strategy. But, at the same time, gold and silver have many uses other than just money - from the serious to the frivolous...
Have you ever stood across the counter from a government bureaucrat and wanted to scream in frustration? Imagine the same scene taking place in a foreign country, with a different culture, where they speak a language you don't know. What would you do? Not to worry... you are not alone and help is on the way!
Recently, an International Man member e-mailed us a video about a man from Illinois who faces life in prison for filming the police without written permission.
It's no secret that the European Union is on the skids - every day new twists in the sovereign debt crisis dominate the headlines. But if the EU does break up, what will rise in its place? Jeff Thomas explores and weighs the possibilities.
If you've followed IM as of late, you may be familiar with Ed Marsh, an expert of the IM Triangle's Income Element - specifically - how to diversify one's business income internationally. Expanding business overseas can appear very exciting, but there are often pitfalls along the way that can impact even the best laid plans. In today's piece, Ed shares his insights about picking your first international markets for expansion.
Most people are truly unaware of the opportunities that lie outside their borders. The opportunities to grow both personally and professionally, but also from a strictly dollars and cents point of view. But before you can profit, you need access. That's where a good international broker comes into play.
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