“You look out your window, past your gardener, who is busily pruning the lemon, cherry, and fig trees... amidst the splendor of the gardenias, hibiscus, and hollyhocks.
The sky is clear blue. The seas is deeper blue, sparkling with sunlight.
A gentle breeze comes drifting in from the ocean, clean and refreshing, as your maid brings you breakfast in bed.
For a moment, you think you have died and gone to heaven.
But this paradise is real. And affordable. In fact, it costs only half as much to live this dream lifestyle... as it would to stay in your own home.
Want to Wake up Every Day in Paradise?”
So begins my friend Bill Bonner's famous promotion that launched his excellent publication International Living.
The reality is that a tropical American dream at 1st world standards is not widely for sale at a two for one discount.
I've known oil-rich-bass-fishin’ Texans driven from vacation homes in the mountains of Mexico by machine gun toting "Federali" expropriators. How would you feel if you had bought a pristine beach vacation home pre-Chavez in Venezuela?
Political risk in strange countries is not your only dilemma.
Uruguay's Punta del Este is one of my favorite places in the world. Make sure you pack an extra suitcase of C-notes if you wish to own there.
The country has no mortgage market.
I love carnival in Rio. How about you?
Brazil imposes complicated restrictions on foreign capital that generally obviates real estate ownership. Most of Europe is no cake walk either.
The list of countries with bumps in their political or financial landscape goes on and on.
Under the searing microscope of independent reason most post-card-coastlines are rejected. In the end analysis these barbed-wire framed masterpieces of nature are nowhere you would really want to live.
A commonly overlooked tropical exception is Puerto Rico.
Discover the 17 Ways to Pay Zero Taxes Living on a Warm Tropical Beach in Puerto Rico!
What allows you to buy the American Dream in our paradise here at a 50% discount or more derives over time from money not lost in taxes. And your Caribbean lifestyle is delivered with a lifetime iron clad anti-expropriation guarantee of the United States Common-Law Constitution. This covers not just you but also your inheritors.
You'll have a clear understanding of the meaning of this by the end of this course. I just might convince you to wind down your days with us on the sunny tropical Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.
But first let me give you a background from which to understand.
The Untold History of Puerto Rico
At slightly less than three times Rhode Island Puerto Rico is the third largest isle in the United States. That's a hundred and ten by forty miles of prime Caribbean acreage basking in a year round climate ranging between 70 and 96 degrees Fahrenheit at 18.45⁰ latitude slightly north of the equator. This Latin paradise of eternal spring is part of Jimmy Buffet's most coveted Caribbean sailing grounds.
Only Hawaii's Big Island and Kodiak Island in Alaska are larger.
The lush tropical land sits on a foundation of 190-million-year old rock. The massive subduction zone slopes into the largest and deepest trench of the frigid Atlantic to the east.
The backbone of the island paradise is a range that composes two thirds of the land mass. It climbs to 4,393 feet above sea level.
The central Puerto Rico cordillera forms the rim of a massive eastern bowl that shelters and warms the Caribbean Sea to the west. Sections are of an unexpected breathtaking beauty normally discovered on a major continent in places as majestic as California's Yosemite or Washington's Olympic Peninsula.
It also creates the canvas for more than a dozen ecological micro climes.
The most arid of these in the south are reminiscent of deserts along the southern Arizona border. The most humid is El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the National Park System.
The Caribbean Basin Drive for Increased Employment
The Bahamas levy neither income, capital gains nor inheritance tax. But the problem over yonder is that you have to deal with the political risk of a foreign government.
The only choices you have for safely owning your piece of perpetual paradise with United States Federal property protection and tax benefits are St. Thomas, St. Croix, or Puerto Rico.
The U.S. Virgin Islands offer a 90% exemption from U.S. income taxes and 100% exemption from all other taxes and duties if you qualify. You do receive property protection from the United States federal government.
This mitigates political risk.
But over in that neck of our aquatic sports range you end up living on a tropical dirt speck the size of a postage stamp. Ditto for the slightly larger but relatively desolate island of St. Croix.
I am sure that you won't be surprised to learn that Island fever is the leading cause of exit from the United States Virgin Islands within a few years of relocating.
Most Americans think that Puerto Rico is a third world country. Think again.
I am writing you now to show you secrets from my 23 years of living on the Island of Puerto Rico while engaged in extensive business in the region. I have run the analysis many times over these many years.
Every time I crunch it through I consistently conclude that Puerto Rico is the best place for you to enjoy a Jimmy Buffet lifestyle on a Warren Buffet budget of tax savings.
New initiatives from the top of Puerto Rico's Free Associated State have just recently created fantastic opportunities for legal tax avoidance in return for job creation. These benefits are bestowed on financial services firms willing to relocate to our Enchanted Isle — and home of the uber-cute Coqui frog.
Amazingly, the benefits are best for retired ultra-high net worth individuals living on portfolio income. And I think you will enjoy a refreshing change to …
A Blended Culture Devoid of Slavery Anger!
This derives from a history largely unmarred by slavery. Slaves at peak population never numbered more than one or two out of ten Africans or descendants during the 1700s in Puerto Rico.
Perhaps this is from the lingering local distaste of the initial enslavement by Ponce de Leon of the Taino Indians in a tortuous fluvial gold panning system. This resulted in bloody rebellion and the wrath of Queen Isabela. Taino descendants populate Puerto Rico as do their ideas and memories.
This contrasts starkly with the United States, Cuba and the Dominican Republic where 9 out of 10 people from Africa were slaves.
Puerto Rican culture offers a refreshing color blindness bequeathed by a history largely devoid of such oppression.
Also unique was the fact that Europeans outnumbered African throughout the post Taino Indian history in Puerto Rico. Cuba and the Dominican Republic were over 90% Africans with regard to total population at the time.
Nearly all were slaves.
The Spanish census reveals that the 583,181-person population of Puerto Rico was listed as just fourteen percent slaves of total and interestingly sixteen percent of “colored.” This was in 1860 well before the 1873 abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico.
Not surprisingly there are no racial riots in Puerto Rico.
The Spanish language spoken on the island is pleasantly devoid of sub-dialects arising from the unjust brutality of slavery.
For further reading see "The Puerto Ricans - A Documentary History" by Kal and Olga Wagenheim.
The True Birthplace of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement
The hunger for self-determination began rather inauspiciously with the birth of Ramón Emeterio Betances on April 8, 1827. As Ramón matured into a competent European trained ophthalmologist and Freemason he grew to loathe the ravaging governance of mother Spain.
Even more he despised the Castilian acceptance of slavery. He was thrown off the island for buying child slaves whom he would immediately free.
His Freemason connections followed a freedom network that connects to the fathers of the American Revolution.
Dr. Betances, the political refugee eventually landed in New York. He gained the respect of Congress after convincing the legislature to vote against the annexation of the Dominican Republic.
His argument rested on the inviolable right of a people to self-determine.
Betances is widely recognized as the father of the Puerto Rico Independence Movement. His Freemason philosophy connected his Caribbean cry for revolution with that of our own. His written pamphlets from 1867 closely resonate the thinking of Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson:
The Right to Reject All Taxes
These are the TEN COMMANDMENTS of Free Men according to Betances.
His 31year battle for independence ended in decree that Puerto Rico would be shaken loose from a collapsing Spanish government. The strongest evidence of the full faith of Spain's intention was the commissioning of sovereign coinage for the island.
The Puerto Rico pattern coin was formed in 1890.
The design was finalized with the issuance of 5, 10, 20, 40 centavo and 1 peso numismatics minted in 1895 and 1896. The one-ounce sterling silver Peso is the crown jewel of the 11 piece series.
"Dame un Peso" does not refer to a U.S. Dollar.
By August of 1898 the Puerto Rican populace was eagerly awaiting the arrival of King Alfonso from Spain for the formal act of separation followed by planned joyous celebration.
Just Weeks Away From Sovereign Independence...
The United States of America invaded Puerto Rico in July 25th of 1898.
The idea was to create a force as large and powerful as the British Royal Navy. The strategy called for control of marine routes related to the Panama Canal.
Puerto Rican coinage was truncated after its second year of issuance. However, the Spanish symbolism of Puerto Rico's ephemeral sovereign nature resonates through the local government today.
For the next 19 years Puerto Ricans were exploited as little more than indentured slaves by large American corporations. These were extensions of an already thriving United States banana republic in Central America.
Locals were compliant from acclimation in the Hacienda "ficha" system of the Spaniards. This process came to a grinding halt when the Jones Act conferred United States citizenship to Puerto Ricans in 1917.
Citizenship was received with mixed feelings. Roughly half of Puerto Ricans wanted statehood.
The rest wanted nothing of the sort.
A Pro-Statehood Party (PNP) developed within the population.
Two prominent Puerto Ricans, poet Luis Muñoz Marín and pharmacy chain mogul Teodoro Moscoso negotiated with Congress to secure the right of Puerto Ricans to self-determine.
They worked in conjunction with Congress appointed governor Rexford Tugwell. The renowned Columbia economics professor was highly supportive of both men.
Over his tenure Governor Tugwell had come to love the people and Hispanic culture of Puerto Rico. He did not want it erased by the mandatory linguistic imposition that American-English statehood would unequivocally create.
The American melting pot could not tolerate a second official language.
Tugwell used his influence in Congress that dated as far back as Frankin D. Roosevelt's "Brain Trust" that led up to the New Deal. His input as an experimental economist was an important guiding force throughout the process.
A Free Associated State model was developed and approved in Congress.
This conferred taxation, insurance, and retirement plan autonomy to the Puerto Rican government in 1947. Medicare and social security benefits for locals are restricted and residents cannot vote in a United States presidential ellection.
This created the only foreign tax system within the borders of the United States.
The combined brilliance of Marín, Moscoso, and Tugwell had birthed the first political economic system that ensured the preservation of the local Hispanic culture and language.
This Free Associated State model of Puerto Rico has many parallels with that of both the American State and the European Union (EU) systems. The theory that led to the EU was published in the 1960s by Bagwell’s Columbia economics fellow faculty member Robert Mundell.
Professor Mundell won the Nobel Prize for his work that formed the European Union.
Luis Muñoz Marín became the first Puerto Rican governor elected by a popular majority of the Puerto Rican people.
The Free Associated State was immediately recognized by the Pro-Statehood (PNP) populace as antithetic to statehood. The right to vote put power into the hands of both sides.
Ironically, the most fervent separatists also viewed the new situation as antithetic to independence. The local Freemason movement started so many years ago by Dr. Betances quickly evolved into a Pro-Independence Party (PIP).
The new Popular Party (PPD) under governor Marín sought to form a free associated commonwealth with the United States as had been planned pre-invasion with Spain.
Both parties seek a degree of autonomy but in a different way.
For this reason, you may hear the Popular Party (PPD) referred to as a watermelon. The green color of the Pro-independence camp wraps around the red of the Popular party.
The pro-statehood party color is the same navy blue of the American flag. The blue of the Puerto Rican flag that flies on the governor’s mansion oscillates between navy and original powder blue depending on the party of the sitting governor.
The lack of a clear vision for an acceptable path to independence has led to the near extinction of the PIP party today. And there has never been a sitting governor from the independence party.
Meanwhile, the Free Associated State has flourished into a working synergy between the Popular Party, the Pro-Statehood party, and the Congress of the United States.
Economic Development in Puerto Rico
Teodoro Moscoso became the first administrator of economic development. He created Operation Bootstrap in 1947 to transition Puerto Rico from an agrarian to an industrial society.
A shrinking farm job market forced lesser skilled but now passport holding Puerto Ricans to the United States. West Side Story is a portrayal of conflict between dislocated lower class Puerto Rican households and those of other New York immigrants competing for menial jobs.
Nonetheless Puerto Ricans thrived giving rise to superstars such as Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Raul Julia, Ricky Martin, Rita Morena, José Ferrer and Benico del Toro. And that is just the entertainment field. Most Americans know that the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic United States Supreme Court Justice.
The Puerto Rican Diaspora centers around New York, Chicago, and Florida.
Attempts at developing industries around heavy products were eventually throttled by high freight costs. The negotiation that formed the Free Associated State came with the agreement that all freight on and off island would come and go by vessel flying an American flag under the Jones Act.
The next phase of economic development under Section 936 focused on high value products with low weight. Margins on featherweight products are insulated from high freight costs.
Section 936 tax exclusions created a vibrant hub of pharmaceutical firms. President Bill Clinton squashed the program.
This stripped the island of between fifty and one hundred thousand highly skilled pharmaceutical jobs.
The New American Dream — The Puerto Rico World-Class Export Service Sector Super Hub
In 2008 Harvard trained governor Aníbal Salvador Acevedo Vilá signed into existence Act No. 73-2008. This new law reestablished a tax benefit system designed to incentivize the relocation to Puerto Rico of commercial scale firms.
It is intended to repair the economic crater from the loss of Section 936 through the creation of new jobs on the island. This aligns well with the Popular Party's utopian "Jibaro" philosophy that only hard Criollo work will guarantee "bread, land, and liberty."
The Popular Party desired the strongest possible tax incentives to repair the damage of extensive job loss from the Clinton Administration. And fortunately, pro-statehood PNP party successor Luis Guillermo Fortuño Burset gave his full support of the formation of a vibrant export services hub in Puerto Rico — in return for tax incentives.
Act No. 73 was gradually overhauled. In 2012 it was signed into new form as Act 20 and Act 22 by new PNP governor Luis Fortuño.
Only a 4% tax remains.
Enroll in this course today. It is the only official course on tax-incentives-for-jobs relocation to Puerto Rico.
This course is your go-to-source for knowledge you can use to take intelligent directed action. Our training puts you in direct contact with the attorneys, accountants, human resource specialists, managers, service employees, and realtors you need.
And we watch them closely within our UPR-MBA alumni web. This ensures a focus on your needs.
This is the official University of Puerto Rico guide to relocating to our Enchanted Isle under act 20 and 22.
This program is assembled in an academic team with my MBA students. You can enroll in this Udemy course now for free.
This program offers you the inside track to Puerto Rico available nowhere else, such as ….
Cutting taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains.
Karate chopping your corporate rate to 4% if you operate a highly profitable, heavily taxed exportable service; professional consultants, software firms, cardiologists, hedge fund managers, or any of many other businesses and occupations.
Watching unfolding developments in Puerto Rico tax incentive laws.
Applying for tax incentives.
Determining for yourself if you can benefit without paying thousands to an attorney.
Asking our erudite experts on matters regarding day to day living in the Caribbean paradise of Puerto Rico.
Dr. Scott Brown, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Finance of the AACSB Accredited Graduate School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico.
This course was created by the myself and my MBA students here at the University of Puerto Rico. Here is how to get the most out of this course on the six tax incentive acts of Puerto Rico.
If you have a question it is best to ask it on the discussion board. This helps everybody.
But if you have a question that you do not feel like sharing on the discussion board please send me a personal message.
You can also interact by responding to an educational announcement.
The UPR MBA students have been instrumental to this course. You may access them for hire.
That is part of the intent of this course. –Doc Brown
We want to ensure that you understand how to learn and interact in our tight knit community.
Secretary Bacó gives the most comprehensive description of Puerto Rico economic development incentives on record. Watch this first to get a strong overview of relocation possibilities for your business.
Secretary Bacó completes his comprehensive coverage of tax reduction for employment incentive programs available on the island of Puerto Rico. This is the official message from the DDEC.
An expert interview of Juan Carlos Suárez Izquierdo, Under Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico by Dr. Scott Brown
There has been huge buzz in the press in recent times. The largest momentum trader of all time has established operations in Puerto Rico for richer investment opportunities.
I have received numerous questions from my students. And I am very pleased to give you the best advice on the subject from one of the members of the team of Secretary Alberto Bacó Bagué. Honorable Secretary Bacó stewards over Act 20 and 22 as the head of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce.
During the last two years, the Department of Economic Development has been very active in promoting Puerto Rico’s advantages and restoring Puerto Rico’s credibility as a business and investment destination with a special focus on diversifying Puerto Rico’s economy to a knowledge-services hub. Under Secretary Juan Carlos Suárez Izquierdo has been active in promoting the Act 20 and 22 program as the backbone of the services-diversification plan and at the same time ensuring that Act 20 and 22 companies comply with the requirement that relocating service export companies generate local jobs. Juan Carlos is a highly intelligent double threat as both a tax attorney and CPA. He gained his reputation of consistency and quality in the highly competitive environment of the largest law firms in Puerto Rico.
Attorney Suárez Izquierdo specializes in corporate tax issues.
I requested this interview with the Under Secretary because I completely trust his answers. If you have ever wondered about the whole "moving to Puerto Rico thing" get ready. You are about to hear the truth straight from the horse's mouth...
How do differences between Puerto Rico and the United States create unique opportunities for large investors and fund managers? What is Act 20 and 22?
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico provides a unique regulatory and fiscal environment.
This guarantees that each and every company operating on the Island has the full protection of the federal regulatory system yet operates in a foreign jurisdiction for tax purposes. In other words, our political relationship with the United States allows Puerto Rican business entities and bona fide residents of Puerto Rico to legally avoid paying US federal income taxes. Puerto Rico’s legal status as a US jurisdiction on the other hand allows these same corporations and individuals to continue to enjoy the full protection of US federal laws. This includes protections of intellectual property, banking laws and laws applicable to financial service providers.
These issues are all particularly relevant to investors and fund managers.
Puerto Rico also offers a near-perfect weather climate, a strategic geographic location in the Americas, a stable business environment, world class infrastructure, and the most highly educated Hispanic human capital in all areas. All of these benefits to investors and fund managers allow us to position ourselves as the perfect gateway into either Latin America or the US.
We are American citizens, bicultural and bilingual.
In addition, Puerto Rico has robust economic and tax incentive programs in place aimed at attracting investments in high priority sectors such as, manufacturing, tourism and hotel development, agriculture, international finance and insurance, renewable energy and film production, among others. However, I highlight two tax incentive laws that are attracting a lot of positive attention for Puerto Rico and generating private sector investment and growth on the island:
Act 20 and Act 22
Act (Law) 20 - offers incentives for a wide variety of services originating from Puerto Rico yet is fulfilled with clients off the island. Law 20 was enacted to diversify our economy and create the conditions to develop Puerto Rico as an international hub of export services. Act 20 provides a series of tax incentives that are intended to encourage local service providers to expand their businesses by offering services to clients outside of Puerto Rico, at the same time we retain our local talent and professionals.
Act 20 is also intended to attract foreign capital to Puerto Rico and create new job opportunities by encouraging Foreign Service providers to establish themselves on the island. The Act at its core essentially extends to a broad spectrum of service industries the benefits that have made Puerto Rico one of the world’s manufacturing leaders under other incentives such as 936.
Act 22 provides incentives for high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs to move to Puerto Rico. They can acquire real estate, make other investments on the island, establish business operations, and all other necessary activities of relocation. Act 22 provides a total individual income tax exemption on all interest, dividends and capital gains realized or accrued post residency. Act 22 was originally applicable to individuals who have not been residents of PR within 15 years prior to January 2012. However, we recently amended the law to reduce this exclusion from 15 to 6 years. This is part of our efforts to draw successful members of the second and third generation of the Puerto Rican Diaspora back onto the island from the US mainland.
Who are some of the high profile, formerly stateside, investors and money managers now residing in the Caribbean tropical paradise of Puerto Rico? How much has the local landscape of financial services grown since 2012 in terms of new firms?
In an effort to provide our law 22 resident investors with the protection of anonymity we do not disclose individual names of the persons moving to Puerto Rico under Act 22 nor do we offer specific details regarding their residency. Their benefits, rules, and obligations as well as that of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are bound by the Tax Decree system.
However, I can assure you that we have a significant number of high profile investors that have moved to Puerto Rico and are operating their businesses from the island. I will discuss a few publically known cases in a bit.
Since 2013, the Department of Economic Development and Commerce has granted over 250 tax decrees under Act 20 and over 450 tax decrees via Act 22. We have seen significant amounts of capital pumped into our sagging real estate market in several areas of the island. Additional injections of capital have flowed into the hotel and tourism industry, banking institutions, etc.
Two sectors are particularly important...
We are experiencing the greatest growth in the Financial Services and Insurance sectors through Acts 20 and 22. That is because International Insurance and Financial Center laws combined offer a compelling tax incentive package for many Financial Services and Insurance companies to set-up operations in Puerto Rico. As an example, approximately 15% of all of our new Act 20 companies provide Investment banking, trading, asset management or other financial services to clients outside of Puerto Rico. On the International Insurance sector front we have seen a growth of over 60% in the number of premiums.
Could you give examples of how these same large investors have discovered real estate investments that have stimulated local job growth?
For example, Paulson & Co. Inc. headed by John Paulson has announced their majority interest in the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. This is not their only large scale acquisition in the last two years. They also acquire majority interest in the historic Condado Vanderbilt and La Concha Renaissance Hotels.
And Mr. Paulson's team is still investing.
Paulson & Co. also acquired an office building here in San Juan last year from American International Group Inc. An important point to make is that the Harvard trained and led team have a long term perspective regarding our island. They also own various land parcels in the Condado and Convention Center district area for future development.
They do move fast when they have to. In the case of the Condado Vanderbilt they did an amazing job finishing construction in less than a year. Once fully reopened the Vanderbilt created more than 300 jobs — which we audit.
Other leading investment firms such as Putnam Bridge and Encanto Group have made public significant investments in the hospitality and residential real estate markets.
NOTE TO UDEMY COURSE STUDENT ...
To grasp the magnitude of Paulson's accomplishment as the man according to Forbes "who pulled off the greatest trade" here is an excerpt from the most widely used textbook in AACSB Certified American University Business Schools "Essentials of Investments" by Bodie, Kane, and Marcus (2014) Page 321...
Do you have any examples of the magnitude of tax savings reported by these new residents under Act 20 and 22?
The main benefit under Act 20 is a 4% flat income tax rate on the net income derived from export services plus an exemption on dividends and distributions to shareholders. Act 22 offers a full exemption (100% exemption) on personal interest, dividends and capital gains.
The ultimate tax savings will depend on the structure of the business.
But it is hard to say "no" when you may compare a 4% maximum Puerto Rico tax to a 51.9% highest top marginal tax rate on wage income on combined state and federal taxes plus dividend withholding taxes for Californians. Hawaii and New York are close behind at 51.5% and 50.3% respectively.
Potential tax savings on a case by case basis could exceed $500,000 per each $1,000,000 of additional net income.
By becoming a resident of Puerto Rico you will also become exempted on the payment of federal taxes on Puerto Rico source income. The savings could be huge but hinge on the size and nature of your streams of corporate and household income.
Hence as you state in the introduction of this course, the actual savings could be even higher from some individuals.
As Secretary Bacó has explained, at the DDEC we remain focused on Puerto Rico’s comprehensive economic development plan to transform the local economy into a knowledge-driven service economy. Our public policy is clear: we are steadily converting Puerto Rico into an international services hub. The vibrant promotion of our six main incentives laws ...
has made viable the second grand economic transformation of Puerto Rico.
The report issued by KPMG is a wide-ranging analysis of our tax system that includes a list of recommendations for a reformed tax system. As stated by KPMG: "The objectives of tax reform are to ensure adequate revenues to the Commonwealth and promote economic growth by broadening the tax base, assuring an equitable distribution of the tax burden and enhancing compliance."
KPMG made recommendations on all aspects of our tax system, including Act 20 and Act 22. As with any public policy decision process, some of the recommendations were adopted, some were modified, and some were rejected.
We reiterate our commitment to an already successful program and trust that we will continue seeing positive results for many years to come.
Perhaps the authors were confused trying to describe the free trade zone we have had over the years to help our goods exporters.
But the reality is that we are not promoting Puerto Rico as a tax haven. We are promoting Puerto Rico as an international business destination with the advantages allowed by our fiscal autonomy. Our tax incentive program is intended to insert Puerto Rico into the global economy and have allowed Puerto Rico to attract investors from US, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
We promote these laws based on the legal reality that the United States exempts Puerto Rico-sourced income from the payment of federal taxes. Through these exemptions, the United States has assisted Puerto Rico during many decades in obtaining economic development.
What are the fastest, simplest steps our readers I can take to get set up as a tax advantaged business and individual taxpayer in Puerto Rico today?
They should first visit our website. This website has been developed specially for investors and includes info on all the laws, procedures and business opportunities.
As a second step, contact us at the Department of Economic Development and Commerce if you have any questions.
There are many qualified service professionals in Puerto Rico that are assisting business and individuals relocate their businesses and residences to Puerto Rico on a daily basis. Excellent Tax Professionals, commercial and residential real estate firms and concierge and relocation services firms are available in Puerto Rico to handle all needs.
Go to our website on business in Puerto Rico.
In conclusion I wish to thank the Under Secretary for these very useful tips. I believe in the vision behind act 20 and 22. Come help us create the next miraculous island economy.
If Singapore did it, why can't we?
-Dr. Scott Brown
Associate Professor of Finance, The Graduate School of Business (AACSB Accredited), University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Main Campus
This quiz tests your ability to remember what you just learned regarding relocating a service business to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.
This training covers the specific details of applying for an Act 20 corporation.
This training covers the specific details of applying for an Act 20 corporation.
Live Plan is the fastest way to write a business plan for Act 20 and 22. Dr. Brown also discusses the need for caution with regard to local attorney fees.
This quiz tests your knowledge of Act 20.
This training explains how Act 22 is beneficial to individuals with high portfolio income who enjoy a Latin Caribbean lifestyle.
This training explains how Act 22 is beneficial to individuals with high portfolio income who enjoy a Latin Caribbean lifestyle.
This quiz tests your understanding of Act 22.
The Adviata Vedanta of Value: an Expert Interview with Dhando Investor Mohnish Prabai
By Dr. Scott Brown and Daniel Hall, J.D.
Logic says that on any given year half of stocks will beat the averages.
Science has shown that just two efficiency anomalies guide investors to the highest market beating returns: value and momentum. The January size effect has drifted out of the data.
It gives us great pleasure to interview engineer Mohnish Prabia author of the Amazon bestseller "The Dhando Investor."
Mohnish is an astute engineer who acquired a small fortune selling his business. He parlayed his stakes by switching to money management. He is noted for paying $650,100 for lunch with Warren Buffet. This act of bravado won Buffet over as a friend and mentor.
It helps that Mr. Pabrai is very pleasant in person.
Today he manages just over a half a billion extending Warren Buffett’s value investment approach. Mohnish follows directly in the footsteps of legendary value investors Warren Buffet and Benjamin Graham. He extends a similar fee structure for clients charging no management fees but taking 25% of returns above a 6% threshold.
When I first met Monish all I knew was that he was an important money manager who was taking advantage of act 20 and 22 tax benefits.
He was hard to miss. He was a keynote speaker at the Puerto Rico Investment Summit 2015.
Daniel's plane arrived late. He had no time to change into a suit and it was getting late in the day. "Who do we have for the cover of Issue IV [of Momentum Investor Magazine]?" he asked. "Nobody" I responded.
We were standing in the lobby of the show when Patricia de la Haro of the DDEC directed us into the press interview room. Mohnish sat talking to a local reporter. Mr. Pabrai's Puerto Rican assistants buzzed about.
Suddenly he looked at me as if he expected something intelligent to come out of my mouth...
Scott: How did you start in business? How did you get interested in business? Were you always interested in it? As a child? From childhood?
Mohnish:Well, you know my father was an entrepreneur in India, and he had a number of ups and downs. So, he’d been bankrupt a number of times. But, every time he went bankrupt, and you know, the family would lose everything.
Scott: Yeah, I’ve been through it.
Mohnish: But I saw him repeatedly go to zero and then come up with a new idea and build a new business. And, he repeatedly said to me growing up that you could put him naked on a rock on some remote place with nothing and that he could come back.
Mohnish: When I grew up I saw so much volatility that I actually didn’t want to do business at all. When I graduated from engineering, I said “Okay, good. Now I’ve got a good job. I can stay at this company, and save some of the money, and everything will be fine…” My dad encouraged me to go from engineering into marketing because he thought that would be a better place for me. Then, when I moved, after that he said, “Well, it’s time to quit and start your own thing.” I said, “You know, have you forgotten…”
Scott: The pain!
Mohnish: Yes, the pain. I was already getting to the point where the work was getting to be very, kind of routine, monotonous and such. There was a business opportunity that looked interesting, so I took the plunge. And I’ve never looked back.
Scott: Wow, that’s interesting. So, how did you end up coming into Puerto Rico, what was the initial drive? Did you find out about it through the Internet, or how did it come to your attention?
Mohnish: I About a year ago we set up a new company, and we raised over $150 million from our investors. That company is going to make a number of investments and such and can do a variety of things. One of my investors, who had invested, said, “You know, maybe you should look into Puerto Rico.” He sent me a link to one of his presentations about it. So, I started to poke around and look at it. The more research I did, the more no-brainer it looked. And so, here we are…
Scott: What’s the worst day you’ve had in business after your dad set you out on that path, of owning your own business? I want to know what the worst day was, and then I’m going to ask you for the best day.
Mohnish: Well, the worst day, I think, was in 2004. You know, I run an investment company, and that investment company started in 1999, and in 2004, Forbes had done a profile on me and my Pabrai Investment Funds. The Funds had generated something like 35% a year after fees. I’m talking about ridiculous fees for investors. And, you know, in that period the markets had crashed. The NASDAQ was at a low level...I got a FedEx package at home one day. It was a letter from the SEC, which said “We have opened an investigation…”
Scott: Oh my!
Mohnish: I was reading the legalese in it, and at the end of the letter there was this lady who signed the letter and had given a phone number. So I called the phone number because I had no idea what was going on. She was shocked that I called. I said, “Well, I got a letter that has your number, and I’m calling because you sent me this letter, and…Did you not send the letter?” She said, “Yes I did, but I can’t talk to you.” So, I said, “Why can’t you talk to me?” She said, “Have your attorney call me.” I said, “He’s going to charge me.”
Scott: [Laughter over the "he's going to charge me" part.]
Mohnish: I said “This is free.” She said “I cannot talk to you, okay? Have your attorney call.” So, I contacted my attorney, and I sent them the letter. When I talked to my attorney after he read the letter and brought in one of their SECexperts. They said to me “Are you sitting down?”, and I said “Yes, I’m sitting down.” They explained that the SEC has opened what they call an investigation. "Okay?" I responded.
The attorney continued.
"When the SEC opens up an 'investigation,' they have five commissioners at the SEC, and one of them is the supreme commissioner. At least three of those five, they have to approve an investigation before it can start, which means that the letter that you received is not from some, you know, third-level down SEC person. It was approved by the commissioner at the highest level.
A formal investigation is done because they believe it’s fraudulent, and probably within hours or days, they are looking to shut you down."
So, I said “Why? I’ve done nothing wrong.” So, they said “Because they probably think that you’re a fallacy.”
Scott: Because of the returns…the high returns…?
Mohnish: The full gravity had just come out. And so, I think over a 12-day period, from then on, I lost 12 pounds. This is the best way to lose weight. You know, I wish that I could go back to figure out how to do that again.
Daniel: Yeah, without the pain, right?
Mohnish: I felt almost like, you know [musing]... You have lowlights because the issue I had is that “I have investors.”
Scott: Oh, absolutely!
Mohnish: My attorneys told me that this is in a period that you have to disclose to your investors. So, I said, “What am I supposed to tell them?” They said, “You tell them that you’re under investigation.” I said, “Yes, but what else am I supposed to tell them?” So, I call the lady back at the SEC, and I say “I’ve talked to my attorney. I understand. You guys think I’m a ponzi scheme, don’t you?” She said “I have no comment.”
Scott and Daniel: [Laughs about her "no comment"]
Mohnish: So, I said “Here’s what I’m going to do. There are probably 10,000 pages of documents. I have me and one part-time assistant. We have no ability in the time you have given us to get you those documents. We’d have to work 24 hours a day to do it in the time you have given us. So, here’s what I’m going to do. You come into my office…you will have access to me and my assistant, and anything you want." So, she said that they would call me back. Then, they called and said "yes." So, they came.
Within 45 minutes, one of the lawyers came, this young lady, she called them over to the side and she said “All the money’s there.” The investigator said to call the CEO of the bank. What happened is they looked at my broker statements, and they thought it was fiction.
Daniel: Yeah, Photoshop
Mohnish: They called the banker and said, “He said it was correct.” And they said, “That guy [Mohnish] is underpaid.”
Scott and Daniel: [Laughter]
Mohnish: They came through, like the Mayor of City Hall. They said “We want you to send us everything.” ”You’re the SEC, no problem.” came my response. After about three hours in my office, I could see that they knew that they had made a mistake. But now that the investigation is over, the SEC has this very strange rule that I found out. Once they open an investigation, they can never close it.
Scott: Oh, really?
Mohnish: Take today, that investigation is open. In fact, any investigation that the SEC ever started has never closed. There’s no format. What they do for closure is write, “We have reviewed and this is what the Commission recommends for action.” That’s like, “We love you dearly” So anyway, that was a bad period.
It’s a very bad feeling to be accused of being a criminal.
Scott: Oh, I know.
Mohnish: First of all, I had done a great job. Not only are they saying, “You haven’t done a great job”, they are saying, “You’re a crook.” What I…my understanding of the way the government works is there’s no due process. This is not a decision that comes from a jury…none of that. They are holding all the cards. That’s all. Sorry.
Scott: No. That’s fantastic. Thank you. So, my next question is what’s been your best day? That’s got to be interesting because here you get out of engineering school, you fly into this shark pool, and you know, you’re terrified because you’ve seen your family knocked down before. What was your best day?
Mohnish: The best day was when I started a business, and when my father told me “I’m proud of you.” What I was doing was straddling. I had my job. I hadn’t quit my job, and I had started a company but I didn’t have any cash; I was running on credit cards. And so, I was working for 80 or 90 hours a week, right? For a 40 hour job, and another 50 hours on my business, and after about eight months of this activity, I got the first client.
And, the first client was massive in the sense that it was something like three quarters of a million dollars. I would end up making, probably at least $150,000, $200,000 profit on that. My salary was $45,000, right. So I remember…I just went into this meeting with the company CEO. And, the meeting lasted about six minutes. He asked me a bunch of questions. He said, “Outside my office is a purchasing guy, and I’ve instructed him to have a PO [purchase order] ready. Can you start in 10 days?” Okay?
And, I didn’t understand what was going on, but I walked out and he gave me this purchase order and I had this very high feeling because I knew at that point that I could quit. I was already dying to quit and the business was going to make it.
Mohnish: That was the best feeling…the complete opposite of the SEC.
Scott: That’s awesome. That’s awesome.
Daniel: May I ask a question? What advice would you give a Main Street versus a Wall Street, a Main Street investor? Your best advice.
Mohnish: Well, the best advice is extremely simple. A young guy once asked Charlie Munger, “Mr. Munger, how can I get rich?” So, people started laughing, and Charlie Munger said “The way to get rich is very simple.” He says, “Number one, consistently spend less than you earn.” He said that if you spend even 10-15% less than you earn, then invest that money in the low-cost index fund. He said, “You know, you do that for a lifetime, even if you don’t make much money, you’re going to wake up when you’re 70 and you’re going to be incredibly rich.”
Mohnish: That’s what I’m telling you, a Main Street investor.
Daniel: Thank you.
This quiz tests your comprehension of the usefulness of Acts 20 and 22. I also query your master of value investing concepts revealed in this interview.
Bonus Lecture: My Special Udemy Coupon Offer to You
"There is no one like you that I know of who is this transparent, that is what makes your service and education so valuable. Please keep on." -L.B. A Washington State Stock Investor
Dr. Scott Brown and “Intelligent Investing” — helping you get the most out of your hard earned investment capital.
As an investor, I have spent over 35 years reading anecdotal accounts of the greatest investors and traders in history. My net worth has grown dramatically by applying the distilled wisdom of past giants.
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(In the last six years we have exploded our net worth and are absolutely debt free, we live a semi-retired Caribbeanlifestyle in atriple gatedupscale planned community from a spacious low maintenance condo looking down on our tropical beach paradise below).
My Curriculum Vitae:
Investment Writing and Speaking:
I am an internationalspeaker oninvestments. In 2010 I gave a series of lectures onboard Brilliance of the Seas as a guest speaker on their Mediterranean cruise. Financial topics are normally forbidden for cruise speakers. But with me they make an exception because of my financial pedigree.
On day 6 the topic I discussed was “Free and Clear: Secrets of Safely Investing in Real Estate!“ The day 7 topic was “Investment Style and Category: How the Stock Market Really Works!” Then on day 8 I spoke about “The 20% Solution: How to Survive and Thrive Financially in any Market!” The final talk on day 11 was “Value Investing for Dummies: When Dumb Money is Smart!”
Gina Verteouris is the Cruise Programs Administrator of the Brilliance of the Seas of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Regarding my on-board teachings she writes on June 19th, “You have really gone above and beyond expectations with your lectures and we have received many positive comments from our Guests.”
I sponsored and organized an investing conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2011 under my Wallet Doctor brand. This intimate conference was attended by 14 paying attendees.
As such many strides were made in financial education that week. For instance I met a woman who is a retired engineer from the Reno, Nevada area.
She made a fortune on deep in the money calls during the bull markets of the 90s.
This humble and retired engineer inspired me to look more seriously at deep in the money calls with far expiration. She also gave me an important clue regarding trading volume.
Her call option and volume insights have been confirmed in the Journal of Finance.
In 2012 I gave a workshop at the FreedomFest Global Financial Summit on stock investing at the Atlantis Bahamas Resort. I was also a panelist on a discussion of capital markets.
My course “How to Build a Million Dollar Portfolio from Scratch" at the Oxford Club is an international bestseller. In 2014 I co-authored “Tax Advantaged Wealth” with leading IRS expert Jack Cohen, CPA. This was the crown jewel of the Oxford Club Wealth Survival Summit.
I have been a regular speaker at the Investment U Conferences.
In 2012 I gave a workshop entitled “How to Increase Oxford Club Newsletter Returns by 10 Fold!” The conference was held at the Grand Del Mar Resort in San Diego, California. This resort destination is rated #1 on TripAdvisor.
In 2013 I spoke at the Oxford Club’s Investment U Conference in San Diego California. The talk was entitled “The Best Buy Signal in 103 Years!” Later in the summer I spoke at the Oxford Club Private Wealth Conference at the Ojai Valley Inn.
This was at the same time that Jimmy Kimmel married Molly McNearney in the posh California celebrity resort. It was fun to watch some of the celebrities who lingered.
I also operate a live weekly investment mentorship subscription service under the Bullet-Proof brand every Monday night by GoToWebinar.
I am an associate professor of finance of the AACSB Accredited Graduate School of Business at the University of Puerto Rico. My research appears in some of the most prestigious academic journals in the field of investments including the Journal of Financial Research and Financial Management. This work is highly regarded on both Main Street and Wall Street. My research on investment newsletter returns was considered so important to investors that it was featured in the CFA Digest.
The Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)is the most prestigious practitioner credential in investments on Wall Street.
Prestigious finance professor Bill Christie of the Owen School of Business of Vanderbilt University and then editor of Financial Management felt that our study was valuable to financial society. We showed that the average investment newsletter is not worth the cost of subscription.
I am the lead researcher on the Puerto Rico Act 20 and 22 job impact study. This was signed between DDEC secretary Alberto Bacó and Chancellor Severino of the University of Puerto Rico.
(See Brown, S., Cao-Alvira, J. & Powers, E. (2013). Do Investment Newsletters Move Markets? Financial Management, Vol. XXXXII, (2), 315-338. And see Brown, S., Powers, E., & Koch, T. (2009). Slippage and the Choice of Market or Limit orders in Futures Trading. Journal of Financial Research, Vol. XXXII (3), 305-309)
I hold a Ph.D. in Finance from the AACSB Accredited Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina. My dissertation on futures market slippage was sponsored by The Chicago Board of Trade. Eric Powers, Tim Koch, and Glenn Harrison composed my dissertation committee. Professor Powers holds his Ph.D. in finance from the Sloan School of Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]. Eric is a leading researcher in corporate finance and is a thought leader in spin offs and carve outs.
Dr. Harrison is the C.V. Starr economics professor at the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University.
He holds his doctorate in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. Glenn is a thought leader in experimental economics and is the director of the Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk.
Tim Koch is a professor of banking. Dr. Koch holds his Ph.D. in finance from Purdue University and is a major influence in the industry.
My dissertation proved that under normal conditions traders and investors are better off entering on market while protectingwith stop limit orders. The subsequent article was published in the prestigious Journal of Financial Research now domiciled at Texas Tech University — a leading research institution.
I earned a masters in international financial management from the Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Business. Thunderbird consistently ranks as the #1 international business school in the U.S. News & World Report, and BloombergBusinessWeek.
I spoke at the 2010 annual conference of the International Association of Business and Economics (IABE) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The research presented facts regarding price changes as orders flow increases in the stock market by advisory services.
I spoke at the 2010 Financial Management Association [FMA] annual conference in New York on investment newsletters. The paper was later published in the prestigious journal “Financial Management.”
I presented an important study named “Do Investment Newsletters Move Markets?” at the XLVI Annual Meeting of the Consejo Latinoamericano de Escuelas de Administración (CLADEA) in 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The year before that I presented my futures slippage research at a major renewable energy conference in Ubatuba, Brazil.
I spoke at the Clute International Conferences in 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The research dealt with the price impact of newsletter recommendations in the stock market.
I presented a working paper entitled “The Life Cycle of Make-whole Call Provisions” at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Southern Finance Association in Fajardo, Puerto Rico in session B.2 Debt Issues chaired by Professor LeRoy D. Brooks of John Carroll University. Luis Garcia-Feijoo of Florida Atlantic University was the discussant. I chaired the session entitled “Credit And Default Risk: Origins And Resolution.” Then I was the discussant for research entitled "NPL Resolution: Bank-Level Evidence From A Low Income Country" by finance professor Lucy Chernykh of Clemson University and Abu S Amin of Sacred Heart University and Mahmood Osman Imam of the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh.
That same year I presented the same study to the Annual Meeting of the Financial Management Association in Chicago, Illinois. I did so in session 183 – Topics in Mergers and Acquisitions chaired by James Conover of the University of North Texas with Teresa Conover as discussant. I chaired session 075 – Financial Crisis: Bank Debt Issuance and Fund Allocation. Then I was the discussant for TARP Funds Distribution: Evidence from Bank Internal Capital Markets by Elisabeta Pana of Illinois Wesleyan University and Tarun Mukherjee of the University of New Orleans.
I am a member of the MBA Curriculum Review Committee, the MBA Admissions Committee, The Doctoral Finance Admissions Committee, the Graduate School Personnel Committee, and the Doctoral Program Committee of the School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico.
I am the editor of Momentum Investor Magazine. I co-founded the magazine with publisher Daniel Hall, J.D. We have published three issues so far. Momentum Investor Magazine allows me to interview very important people in the finance industry. I interview sub director Suarez of the DDEC responsible for the assignment of Puerto Rico act 20 and 22 licenses for corporate and portfolio tax reduction in the third edition. Then I interview renowned value investor Mohnish Prabia in the upcoming fourth edition — to be made available via Udemy. Valuable stock market information will be taught throughout.
In October of 2010 I arranged for the donation to The Graduate School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico of $67,248 worth of financial software to the department that has been used in different courses. This was graciously awarded by Gecko Software.
I have guided thousands of investors to superior returns. I very much look forward to mentoring you as to managing your investments to your optima! –Scott
Dr. Scott Brown, Associate Professor of Finance of the AACSB Accredited Graduate School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico.
Daniel Hall is an author, speaker, consultant, coach, lawyer (JD from Texas Tech University), nurse (BSN from University of Texas at El Paso)and sometimes blogger. He is also the creator of the popular “Real Fast" training programs designed to help authors, speakers, coaches, consultants, trainers, Internet marketers and entrepreneurs effectively grow their businesses faster and profit more effortlessly.
Daniel's first product was the super-successful and very popular Speak on Cruise Ships program which is designed to help speakers trade their public speaking talents on luxury cruise ships worldwide. Now Daniel conducts special “self-selecting" auditions to help speakers determine whether the cruise speaker opportunity is right for them or not.
Daniel had learned so much about writing, publishing and marketing in the launching and growing of “Speak on Cruise Ships" as well as many other books that he began to develop other products based on his new skill sets. For example, his next super-successful product was Real Fast Book which teaches folks how to write, publish and profit from a book real fast. In fact, you can learn his number one secret for fast book writing free by clicking here.
Thereafter, he created a number of other products under the “Real Fast" brand including – Real Fast Book Marketing (with John Kremer), Real Fast Book Distribution (with Elaine Wilkes), Real Fast Affiliate Profits, Real Fast Webinars (with Tom Antion), Real Fast DVD (with Mike Stewart) and Real Fast Traffic Plan.
Along the way Daniel has kept a very active speaking schedule sharing the stage with folks like Brian Tracy, Mark Victor Hansen, Tom Antion, Barbara DeAngelis and many others at events all over the country. He has also continued to speak internationally as an enrichment speaker for Celebrity Cruise Lines “Beyond the Podium" program and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines enrichment program.
Dave Watkins is a successful serial entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Streakfire®PR, a firm where hands on co-founders build disruptive technologies for millions of corporate and consumer users by sourcing new ideas using an accelerator business model. Within the last year, Streakfire®PR has been active in Puerto Rico and has created FeedYak®, an Android and iOS app that is a do-it-yourself video platform disrupting the way people request and give feedback, endorsements and recommendations about individuals and businesses. Streakfire®PR also cofounded Fund.PR an equity, debt and real estate crowdfunding, a talent recruiting platform, and Indicanto, a data visualization platform.
After working at Accenture, Ernst & Young and Interleaf, he started Softscape in 1995 and helped over 4.1 million workers in over 300 Global 2000 companies across 156 countries be more successful at performing their jobs while contributing to bottom-line results called Human Capital Management. Softscape employed 250 people with offices in the US, UK, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Africa, Australia and was sold in 2010. He is credited with inventing Integrated Talent Management, a global multi-billion-dollar market.
Dave is a frequent lecturer at Northeastern University and business mentor for Grupo Guayacán, Piloto151 and Parallel18 and contributing instructor for the Udemy Act20/22 course, Zero Taxes Earning Money from Tropical Beach in Puerto Rico!
He oversees the WatkinsValls Family Foundation that provides financial support to organizations engaged in scientific research related to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of all types of cancer, educational programs, and scholarship programs.
Mr. Watkins received a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance and Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Isenberg School of Management.
Dave and his wife Lilly have four children, David, Jonathan, Matthew and Emelie and lives in Dorado, Puerto Rico. David is a senior at Columbia University and Jonathan is a freshman at St. Michael’s College.
Gadiel Ramirez is a finance doctoral student at the AACSB Accredited Graduate School of Business. His dissertation includes measurement of the local job impact of Act 20 and Act 22. He is an expert at reducing portfolio taxes through both acts.
As part of his doctoral work Gadiel spearheads a team of corporate finance MBA students who research and present a free course on Act 20 and 22 as public service to assist in bringing new jobs to the Puerto Rican island economy.
Professor Eric Powers and Professor Scott Brown guide Gadiel's dissertation.
Professor Powers is an associate professor of finance of the AACSB Accredited Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina. Eric holds a Doctorate. in finance from the Sloan School of Business of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Brown is an associate professor of the AACSB Accredited Graduate School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico. Scott holds a Doctorate in finance from the Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina.
Darwin Morales is an independent business consultant for small businesses located in Puerto Rico. Formerly, he was a Product Specialist at Sony Electronics and a Partner Account Manager at Microsoft. He launched and successfully received startup seed funding for an edtech startup that designed adaptive evaluation software. Darwin has a BBA in Marketing from the Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico and is finishing an MBA in the AACSB accredited University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras.