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 The following are some basic ideas (in no particular order) that can help a PT get started:

  1. learn to do everything by cash or with stored value tools there are many stored value tools now. their giving kid’s stored value credit cards as promotions. even cell phone cards and long distance cards are stored value
  2. learn to stash money, jewellery and other stored value items in safe locations
  3. use corporations to pay all your bills when you can’t use cash or you need extra privacy
  4. safety deposit boxes are relatively easy to get and are a good place to stash cash and jewellery etc.
  5. storage rental facilities abound and are pretty secure. not a bad place to stash valuables or even cash. some people run their businesses out of them
  6. learn to barter and trade favours in lieu of cash. this is particularly useful across borders and when you need to pay someone but you don’t want your name attached to it
  7. give discounts for people who pay you in cash – ask for discounts when you pay in cash
  8. use couriers or friends to ship cash around. don’t tell them what’s in the package and buy insurance. what people don’t know won’t bother them
  9. don’t tell anyone where you stash your money, particularly friends and girlfriends
  10. store the money you want the government to know about in the name of a corporation and pay your taxes. it keeps the government happy and reduces how much money you pay
  11. you can purchase money orders from any number of payday loan places. keep the amounts small
  12. learn to use more than one money order when settling an account in larger sums. most people don’t care how many money orders they receive as long as it adds up to the right amount
  13. you can mail small money orders to offshore banks for savings offshore or for specific financial instruments
  14. stash cash or stored value items in locations you regularly visit
  15. if you like investing in gold, buy jewellery. some people swear by scouring second-hand places for valuable jewellery that they can buy significantly cheaper than its value. a jeweller will melt it down for you or you can do it yourself. lots of possibilities here
  16. offer to buy your friends’ and family’s left-over foreign currency to add to your stash or use when you travel. its cheaper than travellers’ cheques and a whole lot harder to track
  17. money belts
  18. remember always that money is not the only currency in life. think about currency and value

Those are some very random and broad ideas. None are particularly new but the explosion of stored value financial instruments that are being given away and sold at convenience stores is a major boon to the PT.

Payday loan places, corporate kiosks in malls, office services places, secure storage facilities, flea markets, classified advertising sites, newsletters, etc. are all making it easier to function in the underground economy using only cash.


This stuff is OK for small transactions, but once you get to a higher level and/or are dealing in big-ticket receipts, or expenditures, these methods can be impractical.

Storing wealth or taking in trade collectible coins, jewelry, old oriental rugs, small collectibles, gold bars, gemstones, antique watches, rare stamps – all that is OK if you want to be into those things as a business. You will need to know values and that takes a lot of time, effort, and hard-to-gain expertise. Of course, you don’t have liquidity.

I know. Once when I needed money in 48 hours, I had to sell a lot of stuff fast at what I regarded as average prices of 5% of value. Collectibles are junk except to collectors.

If you are or become an international consultant like a marketing guru, IT expert or lawyer, for instance, bringing in big fees like 50,000$ + at a crack, the above solutions also tend to be less than practical.

The same would be true if you hit it big with a best-selling book, novel, artwork, or anything else that will earn you serious money. It is pretty much impossible to avoid income taxes legally if you live in a high-tax country.

Some income can be “sheltered” with tax-favored investments that vary from country to country. But it is always a hassle involving lawyers, accountants, and many technicalities.

One solution is [if you are not a Gringo] is to simply reside “legally” in a tax haven like Bahamas, Monaco or Bermuda. Equally, there is no income tax either in most Central and South American countries.

You could also live in Switzerland or Liechtenstein where taxes can be negotiated as a lump sum for some years in advance. Then what you actually earn is irrelevant.

You can use conventional banks anywhere, checks, credit cards, cash and not worry about privacy or e-currency—unless there are other reasons involved.

Your income is not taxable. Gringoes, of course, need to get a second citizenship to do any of this as they are legally required to file tax & information returns even if they haven’t lived in the USA physically for all their lives.

PTs in general, who are not on the books i.e. registered in the country they live in, and don’t have visible assets or incomes stay below the radar with the “6 Flags.”

But banking havens, while they still exist, are becoming rarer. The above solution to use corporations does indeed work –for now!

Gringoes, of course, need to get a second citizenship to do any of this as they are legally required to file tax & information returns even if they haven’t lived in the USA physically for all their lives.

Post your comments, thoughts, related personal experiences, corrections or questions below.

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