While offshore bank accounts are not for everyone, they can offer huge benefits to the right person. For many small businessmen and entrepreneurs, a good offshore bank account has provided the "key" or competitive edge to unlock vast potential wealth. But first I want to dispel two big myths about offshore bank accounts. #Myth 1 - Only the super-rich can afford offshore bank accounts. You don't need to be rich to open an offshore banking account. While it is true that a "wealth-management" service with a personal banker might require an initial investment of US$1MM, accounts with no minimum deposits certainly exist, and smaller minimums of US$500-5000 are quite common. #Myth 2 - Offshore bank accounts are illegal, or used only by criminals. The confidentiality that offshore banking accounts offer has led to abuse by criminal gangs, but in fact these days many offshore banks have stricter due diligence than their onshore competitors. Criminal activity, wire fraud and money laundering will just as likely take place in New York or London (government sponsored or otherwise). Furthermore, ownership of an offshore bank account is never illegal, although not declaring that you have it can be illegal (laws will vary from country to country). What can an offshore bank account do for you? Here are some of the advantages that have helped investors make their choice. 1) Privacy - Shield your assets from prying eyes. The phrase "If you're not doing anything wrong, you've got nothing to hide" is often used, but the brutal truth is that many citizens from countries all over the world are exposed to corrupt authorities and criminal elements. Even in more stable countries frivolous litigation can decimate a man's wealth, while he cannot trust the government to rule in his favour. Why take the risk? By shielding your financial identity with an offshore bank account you can escape the attention of greedy lawyers and experience the kind of total economic freedom that a domestic account can't offer. 2) Asset protection - Wealth held offshore is harder to reach for anyone who might want to get their hands it. Often the physical distance and legal complexity of attempting to seize an offshore account will ensure that a case against the account holder never takes off. 3) Earn tax-free interest - Many offshore accounts will not have interest taxed at source like your home bank account. In addition the offshore account can open up for you some of the best investment opportunities not available in the domestic market . 4) Multiple currencies at your fingertips - swiftly change between foreign currencies at a fraction of the cost of doing it at home. Some offshore accounts will also offer FOREX and Trading accounts, allowing you to instantly buy and sell at the click of a button from a tax-free offshore base. 5) Perhaps the best advantage of an offshore account is that it will allow you to make international transactions with little or no hassle and red-tape. If you try to transfer even relatively small amounts of money from your domestic account you will likely face a barrage of security questions and other invasive queries, but a good offshore account will allow you to make such transactions online effortlessly, and into the many millions of dollars.
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