FINANCE

PLAN B NOW PLAN A

International entrepreneur, investor, and prolific traveler, James Hickman, advises clients on how a Plan B can enable them to fly above economic chaos.

REGINA RUSSO

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James Hickman's sister remembers the moment the two of them were nearly T-boned by a reckless driver on a suburban Dallas road. Hickman, then only 19, was at the wheel… and in a split second calmly and deftly maneuvered their Honda out of harm's way.

"If I don't panic, you don't panic," he told her once the coast was clear.

Hickman's posture of not panicking has served him for decades in both war and business. A self-made international entrepreneur and investor currently based out of Puerto Rico, he faces the current tumult in the world with a sense of calm.

For most Americans, inflation, social unrest, and the domino effects of the war in Ukraine are sources of worry and stress. But Hickman is not like most Americans. Whereas only about half of US citizens have a passport, Hickman is a bit of a Jason Bourne. He signs the front of the paycheck, not the back, and he has legally lowered his tax rate to the single digits. Additionally, unlike many Americans, Hickman is not counting on Social Security or vanilla 401(k) index funds to prop him up in retirement, instead vetting and opting for private placements in promising companies around the globe.

Drawing from his years in the United States Armed Forces, Hickman calls his collection of actionable international strategies a Plan B.

"The key to a great Plan B — and to peace of mind — is to stay rational and employ solutions that make sense no matter what's going on in the world," he says.

Those solutions make up the heart of one of Hickman's companies, Sovereign Man. For nearly a decade, he and his editorial team have taught his list of almost 100,000 subscribers how to use Plan B strategies to keep calm, prosperous, and sane in a world gone mad.

Hickman and his subscribers aren't stereotypical "preppers" stockpiling the three Bs (beans, bullets, and bandaids). They're affluent, educated professionals and, in some cases, one-percenters who have come to believe that roiling financial markets, misguided monetary policy, and a host of other adverse events indicate that it's time to maximize their investments, minimize their tax liabilities, and gain legal residency or citizenship by investment in a second (or even third) neutral nation.

Hickman is a West Point graduate (majoring in math) and former military intelligence officer who draws inspiration from unorthodox sources. They include his immigrant mother's American Dream achievements, the complexities of American football strategy, and even Bruce Lee. (He once had the following Lee quote stamped on his corporate office wall in Santiago, Chile: "To hell with circumstances, I create opportunities.”)

Hickman is also a serious history buff who enjoys making cyclical connections come alive for his daily readers:

"In 1895, a 32-year old entrepreneur in New York City bought a failing newspaper and hatched a bold plan to turn it around: thrill readers with tales of death, destruction, and brutality in the Cuban War for Independence against Spain."

That particular piece described the power of the media to sway public opinion about war.

In another, where Hickman argues that prices will stay high, he opens with: "At approximately 9 am local time on February 21, 1972, a Boeing 707 airplane dubbed Spirit of '76 landed in Shanghai's Hongqiao airport.

The airplane's main door opened and out walked US President Richard Nixon. The trip shocked the world. There had been no formal communication or diplomatic ties between the US and China for 25 years. And Nixon's voyage not only normalized relations between the two countries, it also kick-started decades of worldwide economic growth…"

Hickman began writing Sovereign Man's missives himself while traveling to more than 120 countries and meeting with local business leaders, real estate lawyers, politicians, and tax experts. Along the way, he created several successful businesses around the world and invested in dozens more. He has also served on numerous corporate boards.

Over at Sovereign Man, Hickman has handpicked a global, multilingual team of nine experts, including investment analysts, political analysts, tax specialists, and editors who have written for The Economist Group and other major players. Together, they generate a steady stream of data and perspectives advocating for living one's life unfettered by corrupt or inept influences of government or society.

His newsletters are required reading for those who worry about the financial future of the US, as well as about diminishing freedoms.

His Sovereign Man conferences are smaller, intimate events (attendance is usually capped at a few hundred) whose focus on actionable intelligence and international diversification attracts philosophical adherents from across the political spectrum.

Attendees range from progressive Silicon Valley executives and jet-setting entrepreneurs to libertarian-leaning financiers from New York. And aside from popular keynote speakers such as Hickman's friends Jim Rogers, Ron Paul, and Robert Kiyosaki, panelists include subject-matter experts in law, real estate, offshore structures, and the needs of High Net Worth Individuals

Simply put, Hickman is the impetus behind many affluent citizens' awakening to the fact that economies around the globe are unraveling, and societal order within the United States is disintegrating… and that they need a long-term financial and personal Plan B.

"I'm an optimist," he says. "I believe wholeheartedly that no matter how many problems people create, no matter how dark the chaos, there's always a solution. Human beings are natural tool creators. We solve problems and overcome challenges -- and this is especially true for people who can think independently and plan proactively.

"The key is to stay rational, avoid emotional decisions, and above all, not to panic." Discover more at www.sovereignman.com