Introduction - Our law firm has clients that come to us referencing some book they read about offshore banking or offshore corporations. We have read a lot of this material and though it was time to comment on it and the same for the offshore newsletters.
Offshore Guides and Books - The big problem is that the material written in these books is generally at least one year old, often longer than that. The laws have a habit of changing. Panama just changed the tourist visa laws for instance and now it will be out of date in numerous books. We have also read a lot of these books that have plain gross errors in addition to time related errors. The author is trying to sell books. Most of the guides cover 20 or 30 jurisdictions. It is a massive undertaking to get all the laws correct in each jurisdiction and most research other books and if the original author has an error then the errors carry through in all the books that used the erroneous one as a source text. Offshore Guides and Books are flawed by definition since they take so long to write, copyright, print, distribute and take to the marketplace in the form of inventory. Do not rely on the book. Remember the author of the book be he a lawyer or not is not going to represent you if trouble comes knocking on your door. You are still going to have to go out and find a lawyer to represent you. Be on guard with offshore books and guides.
Offshore Newsletters - We see these being offered all the time. Generally these are tied to the people holding offshore seminars on asset protection, retirement or real estate.
Often accountants, lawyers and other legitimate authorities author these newsletters. Problem is these authorities are not your lawyer or accountant and they will not represent you in the event of any problems following their advice. The other problem is these professionals are not in a straight up client relationship with you. They are working for the seminar company, not you. You are not their client. It is their job to see that you buy things from the company they work for. In the case of real estate the company is going to get a commission on anything you buy so it is not in their best interests to get you the best deal. The more you spend the more they make. The extra commissions they earn on your purchases can very well increase the cost you will pay for real estate. Generally speaking these so called experts have a conflict of interest between you the reader and the people they work for and their material is best taken with a large grain of salt. Remember the prices you see listed on their websites for real estate are going to be what we call "gringo Prices", inflated prices for the foreign purchaser.