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Hill’s Low Profile — The name W.G. Hill isn’t bandied around
much in the book-publishing world. No literary society has ever
discussed any of the two dozen or so volumes this author has
produced. But over the last thirty years, in the world of
bankers, accountants, high net worth investors and financiers
with offshore interests, Hill has been a seminal influence. His
most famous book is P.T., or “Perpetual Tourist.” Though this
title might convey the idea that it’s a book about traveling, it
isn’t. The subject is, how wealthy people can – with proper
paperwork – enjoy life more. Its “How to have a good time with
your money, but at the same time avoid unwelcome attentions that
conspicuous consumption and high profile wealth always bring.”
These negatives include the unwelcome intrusions of tax
collectors, insurance salesman, contingent fee plaintiff’s
lawyers, alimony seeking ex-wives, kidnappers, burglars. Not to
mention every description of con-man. Do these matters concern
millionaires? Judging from Hill’s book sales, they do, indeed.
The original Hill (who could not be found for an interview – EW
hears he’s in Patagonia doing hands-on research on female female
gaucho wranglers – was back in the 1970′s a self-publisher who
advertised his books as “Special Reports” in the London based
Economist and International Herald Tribune. One of his early
fans was the newsletter guru, Sir Harry Schultz, who must have
made enough beforehand or sold enough books to live well. Sir
Harry writes in PT, “I spent my first few years as a tax exile
at the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel, interacting with hard-bodied,
high maintenance cost divorced women who in their topless
bikinis populated Riviera pool sides like motes in the
sunshine.” Hill’s books always offered his personal services to
assist any reader to accomplish the goals set out. For instance,
his 1975 Lloyd’s Report promised the reader would “make serious
money without any investment, work or risk.” This was two
decades before many Lloyd’s names did in fact suffer substantial
losses. But Hill wrote later, “If people handled their Lloyd’s
relationships as I suggested (with stop loss insurance) they
came out way ahead.” Hill charged a hefty fee to introduce new
names and get them into Lloyd’s as insurance underwriters.
Eventually, around 1985 Hill’s maneuvers were picked up and
thereafter published by Nicholas Pine. Pine was then operating
as Milestone Press of Plymouth, England. He was a very minor
publisher of books for collectors of ceramics. Their typical
press run in the pre-Hill days was a thousand copies. With
Hill’s books for millionaires soon selling like hot cakes,
Milestone hit pay dirt. Pine changed his company’s name to Scope
International. An ex-employee revealed that at the time he quit,
sales of well over 100,000 copies of each Hill book would have
been “a low ballpark figure.” With ten books being major sellers
and a direct mail price of £60 / $100 per book, that means that
gross sales of Hill’s books passed the 100 million dollar mark
some years ago. As marketers who sell direct via advertising and
junk-mail that means most revenues go direct to the bottom line.
Although book sales figures are not available to the public
(through bookstores), this could mean that little known Scope,
by publishing the works of a mystery man who disappeared ten
years ago, is far and away, the world’s most profitable book
publisher. But The Profits Just Start With Book Sales — Each
Hill report describes a certain product or lifestyle. If the
reader wants to make it a reality, he hires Hill (or more
recently a Hill clone at fees up to $10,000 per consultation) to
get him up and running. Our informant suggests that twenty per
cent of all book buyers sign up for consulting services. Then
there are the international seminars at $2000, plus residence
and passport programs costing up to $350,000. The Hill books
suggest other ways that millionaires can enjoy their money more
- by spending it with Scope on “lifestyle enhancing” products
and services. The basic premise of PT and all of Hill’s books,
is that any wealthy person will enjoy life more and protect his
assets better by using what Hill calls “five flags.”

THE FIVE FLAG THEORY The First flag for instance, is the
Passport of a country that doesn’t try to tax or control you
once you have left. According to Hill, any passport will serve
this purpose except those of the USA. Their citizens have to
renounce and get another one. Why? The USA is the only country
that taxes the worldwide income of nonresidents. It is also the
only country that polices it’s citizens morals and conduct
abroad by making certain conduct of its citizens outside the
country, criminal acts punishable by jail sentences back home.
These include traveling to forbidden places, paying minor
bribes, or having sex of a forbidden kind. Each “Flag” of Hill’s
is supported by at least one other book. For instance: The
suggestion that every PT should have a suitable passport, good
for visa-free traveling and not costing the holder a substantial
portion of one’s income is supported by Hill’s most popular
book. This is the PASSPORT REPORT, a hefty, nearly 400 page
reference manual that explores the opportunities “in over 125
countries and political subdivisions.”

The Second flag is the Tax Haven Legal Residence — Every
millionaire needs one, according to Hill. This concept is
followed up by Scope with a large number of regional reports on
such places as Monaco, Campione, Liechtenstein, The Channel
Islands, Isle of Man, Andorra, Gibraltar, Switzerland. As there
are no taxes in these tax haven, moving (by eliminating income
taxes) doubles one’s income at a stoke.

The third flag is Playgrounds — Where can a jaded tycoon enjoy
good climate, gourmet food? Where, if he desires it, is the
companionship of beautiful young women (temporary wives), thrust
upon him? Who will gladly (and for a small fee) provide him with
the illusion of love, if not the reality. This aspect of the
Millionaire’s dilemma was well covered by Hill’s controversial
book, Sex Havens For Tax Fiends. Despite its great popularity,
this report was withdrawn from the publisher’s list two years
ago because of legal problems due to British censorship and
obscenity laws.

The fourth flag is the place Where The Millionaire Invests His
Money — These are countries and institutions where funds are
placed under management to get maximum, tax free returns, safety
from lawsuits, government confiscation, wealth taxes and all the
financial problems and other risks. This problem is solved
definitively in the newest 1997 Hill/Trevellian book, The
Invisible Investor, subtitled, “Get Your Money Out of the
Country Before Your Country Gets the Money Out of You.” Here we
visit the “offshore” world and the service providers who swim in
it. Cayman Islands, Panama, Bermuda, Bahamas and other banking
secrecy centers are explored.

The fifth and last flag is Where To Work, Earn Money And Have
An Active Business — For USA citizens, one of several
recommended options is to incorporate abroad, have your
headquarters, administrative and billing done from abroad, but
sell your products worldwide, still paying attention to the
important United States market. .” For readers who don’t have
quite enough money to retire completely, there is another new
1997 report PTO: Portable Trades & Occupations. The idea here is
to describe several dozen ways that any person can earn “serious
money” in a foreign country – even if without any residence or
work permit. These methods include promoting events, doing
consulting work, giving seminars, public speaking and various
types of creative work, including writing and self-publishing.
Hill should certainly know something about that!

DOES HILL EXIST? There was a chap, introduced and billed as
Hill. who used to appear at Scope’s lectures in various wigs and
disguises. He disappeared from the scene many years ago. It was
variously announced that the original Hill had died, retired or
went low profile himself in the Far East. The truth seems to be
that there was a falling out with Scope and Hill just left. Some
Hill books released during the 1990′s, are said not to bear his
distinctive humor and cut-to-the-point style. Scope is mum on
the subject of what happen to the Original Hill, but they keep
reissuing and selling more and more of his old titles. There are
newly revised and expanded versions appearing every year. All we
know for sure is that the original Hill, if he ever existed,
hasn’t done a new book for ten years.

editor and friend, Peter Trevellian has released under the
Trevellian name, two new titles, PTO and Invisible Investor.
These reports complete the set and round out Hill’s original
plan: “To present a coherent philosophy for productive,
successful people, together with specific, highly detailed plans
for achieving their goals.” In doing this, Scope, Hill and
Trevellian have certainly found a profitable niche for
themselves. (Article from the Expat World Newsletter


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  • Posted On April 11, 2006
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