When I put out my recent call to double the population of Sark, I had no idea that I was about to set off a global media avalanche. Sark, in case you didn't know, is the small island in the English Channel that I call home.
First came the BBC, which reported about my collaboration with Sark's hereditary Head of State, Major Christopher Beaumont (here is the verbatim transcript of my BBC radio interview; courtesy of the Sark Newspaper, PDF format 0.6 MB). He is the 23rd Seigneur of Sark since the island became a self-governing Crown dependency in 1565. The BBC reported that the Seigneur has my back, and things went from there.
MailOnline, one of the world's largest news websites, published an in-depth piece.
Insider, formerly known as Business Insider and long regarded as the world's largest business blog, ran with the story, too.
Even a local TV station in the US reported about it. God only knows where else the story ended up.
Repopulating a jurisdiction by doubling its population is an unusual undertaking. The free Sark Newspaper called it "bold" in its 21 August 2020 issue (PDF, 3MB):
"Could this initiative be the catalyst for the beginning of Sark’s long-awaited economic recovery? All indications are that this is not just another of the numerous false dawns that have come and gone in recent years. This has all of the hallmarks of the real deal."
An estimated 200m to 300m people (!) around the world will now be aware that Sark is in need of new residents and offers an incredible deal. Not bad for a blog written by a guy who works off his kitchen table! In today's day and age, you can create PR worth a fortune if you have a laptop, a bit of digital publishing know-how, and a good idea.
If you are interested in the island's fast-evolving story, here are three valuable sets of information for you.
1. The rocket is already taking off, but it's still time to get in
Three weeks after I launched my campaign, it has already produced concrete results:
- The Lighthouse of Sark, one of the most iconic properties on the island with a panoramic sea view to die for, has now been rented by one of my readers. I've made him aware of this opportunity before it was publicly available, which was one of the reasons why he managed to beat the competition for this trophy property.
- One of the most attractively located apartment houses on the island is now being renovated. It had stood empty for years, but I managed to engage and enthuse the owner. The first of five available apartments is already gone. If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen who seeks a quick way into Sark before the 31 December 2020 settlement deadline, this could be the right option for you. Get a flexible apartment rental to plant your flag on Sark, then look for your permanent (dream) home without undue time pressure.
- Several members of my new venture "Sark Society" are getting ready to buy a property on the island, while prices are at rock-bottom levels. I'm currently supporting them with their search. Crucially, I also know of the deals that are not publicly advertised.
Locally, a lot has happened, too:
- The Barclay family, the island's largest inward investor who own nearly a quarter of the island and many of its prime assets, are dusting off their old plans for a Sark golf course (PDF, 0.6MB). It could be launched as early as 2022.
- A group of residents is currently working to launch a traditional members club. Think fine wines and cigars in an elegant surrounding, as well as fun events that speak to a broad variety of people. I may well be a founding member, so that I can ensure my people can join from the beginning. Watch this space for further news.
- Several residents have approached me with a view to working together to make Sark have an active community and offer a great lifestyle (PDF, 0.6MB). Ultimately, this campaign was always about bringing people together, so that's really good news.
Sark is still a ground-floor opportunity and will remain so for a while longer. There is a LOT of empty real estate on the island. My guess is that the first 50 new settlers on Sark will get the greatest deals. Thereafter, we'll see price increases for both rentals and purchases.
If Sark sounds like an option for you – be it for investment or residence – then I recommend you act over the coming six months. The winter months are even more of a buyer's market on Sark because of the lack of tourism income.
Be careful, though. Don't let local sellers pull the wool over your eyes. Don't waste your money trying to find out everything by yourself.
I know the ins and outs of this opaque market and can procure information that you would never be able to source yourself. I already helped one reader avoid a scam that someone from outside of the island is directing at people who are interested in Sark. Don't learn lessons the hard, expensive way. Get some expert advice – such as from yours truly.
To help you get a foot in the door (almost literally!), I'm extending the discounted offer for my Sark Society membership programme. For a short time only (i.e., until 1 September 2020), you can still get in for the reduced rate of USD 1,300 (20% off the regular membership fee).
Over 25 people have already joined, and I'll soon pause marketing for a while to focus on supporting those new "settlers". I'll answer their questions, I'll pick up the phone for them, I'll let them know of some new properties that aren't advertised publicly… This is a support package unlike anything you have ever been offered – and for USD 1,300, it really is a steal!
Free video with advice and insights
You can learn more about the ins and outs of Sark by watching the 51-minute conversation I recorded with Ladislas Maurice, author of The Wandering Investor.
Ladislas is an exceptional talent within the blogosphere. Despite being only 34 years old, he already lives a life as world-travelling property investor. Through his website, he makes available high-quality content about issues relating to residencies in safe-haven countries and investments in undervalued real estate.
Like myself, Ladislas always reminds his readers of three cardinal rules:
- Do everything by the book.
- Don't cut corners.
- Make sure you get quality advice.
I wanted him to have the first in-depth interview with me about Sark, knowing that he was going to ask the kind of questions that readers would care about. The Mainstream media are great for generating broad attention; however, for in-depth, intelligent conversations, you nowadays primarily have to turn to independent content creators.
Watch the conversation and judge for yourself.
Stay abreast of this story
I wanted you to learn about Sark even though it's not immediately related to undervalued shares. It is an incredible investment opportunity, though, and could turn into a life-changing discovery for you (e.g. if you were looking for a domicile that doesn't skew your investment decisions through ever-new, silly taxes). That's why I took the liberty of dedicating two Weekly Dispatches to this story.
From next week onward, the Weekly Dispatches will get back to focussing on equity investments and other capital market related subjects.
The ongoing reporting on Sark will mostly happen on my other website, www.swen-lorenz.com.
If you haven't come across it already, www.swen-lorenz.com contains my musings on a wide spectrum of subjects and simply getting the most out of life. Much as I like money and finance, I believe it's important to have an interest in (and knowledge about) a wide spectrum of subjects. This website is my outlet for anything that interests me and doesn't fit into Undervalued-Shares.com. You might want to check out my recent 3-part series "Understanding your 'lifetime tax bill'". Some of my readers described this series as eye-opening, and it certainly helps to explain the unique value of a place like Sark.
So, if you'd like to keep informed about the island that I call home, I suggest you register for my free email alerts on www.swen-lorenz.com.
Final word - for EU citizens, it's now or never!
The Sark opportunity will be available for years to come, if only at rising prices.
However, EU citizens really ought to make up their mind soon.
Until 31 December 2020, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens can get into Sark through a simple process (and even apply for citizenship after five years). From 1 January 2021 onwards, they'll need a visa to move to Sark – and that'll be a whole different ball game.
Based on the countless emails I received, I know that a significant percentage of my readers are wondering if it wouldn't be safer to move A&A ("ass and assets") to somewhere outside of the coming European superstate. Those who do, often say that even Switzerland is no longer what it used to be and are now looking for new options to turn to. For the coming globalist hellscape that will be the post-corona era, you will have to look further afield to find a safe haven. Switzerland used to be fairly isolated both geographically and politically, but nowadays it isn't anymore.
Never mind all the other good reasons to consider a Sark residency.
For the first batch of people who are signing up to the Sark Society over the coming months, I'll be pulling out all the stops. I'd love to have like-minded neighbours (three of the eight houses on my street are empty!) and help Sark become the success that it deserves to be.
Sark could change your life, as it has mine.
But you need to make it happen yourself.
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