I come to New York City every year because it’s where the annual meeting of the Atlas 400 group is held.

If you’ve not heard of Atlas, it’s a social club… primarily for like-minded, high achieving, self-made individuals.

I always go out of my way to attend the annual meeting because the other members are some of the most interesting people I know.

The late Jim Rohn used to say that you are the product of the five people you spend the most time with.

And while I’m not certain this is entirely true, I do think it makes sense to surround yourself with high quality individuals that you can learn from.

That’s why I come here each year. And I learned so much this weekend from the high caliber of people in attendance.

I learned from one of the world’s foremost collectibles experts, for example, what are the ‘no brainer’ collectibles investments right now that are likely to go up dramatically in value over the next few years.

One of the most astute financial minds I know walked us through a detailed scenario outlining how the financial system can (and likely will) rapidly unwind.

These weren’t even his own conclusions; the people in the group are incredibly well-networked, and this particular gentleman has been advised by senior members of the financial establishment.

We had an incredibly inspiring presentation by a cutting-edge genomics firm, co-founded by the doctor who first decoded the human genome; they’re very close to revolutionizing medicine and making it possible for all of us to live longer, higher quality lives.

And there was another presentation about effective philanthropy and some of the best ways to give back.

I also made a brief presentation to the group about ongoing discussions I’ve been having with senior government ministers about a unique second passport program.

Bottom line, there’s a little bit of everything at these events.

I wanted to pass this information on to you, so this morning I sat down and recorded what I learned this weekend in today’s podcast.

But in addition to those lessons, I also articulate my thoughts about what’s happening in this country.

Hundreds of years ago, America used to be the Land of Opportunity where people who worked hard and took risks could be richly rewarded for their efforts.

This idea attracted some of the most productively-minded people in the world, and vast fortunes were made as a result.

Even in government, politicians made astute decisions that enhanced the national prosperity.

In the early 1800s, for example, when the US was still in its infancy, the government purchased 827,000+ square miles of land from France for less than $15 million.

It became known as the Louisiana Purchase, and today that amount would be valued at roughly $263 million in 2016 dollars.

When adjusted for inflation, that’s the equivalent of buying land today in the US at just over 40 cents per acre.

A few years later, the US government bought Florida from the Spanish for the equivalent of just $89 million in 2016 dollars.

What unbelievable deals.

Back then the government spent taxpayer funds to buy valuable, productive land for just pennies per acre. (Again, those prices are adjusted for inflation…)

Today they spend over $2 billion to build a website that doesn’t work.

It’s a night and day difference that highlights just how out of control things have become, and how far from its origins the Land of the Free has fallen.

But this is not a bad news story by any means.

And in today’s podcast, we explore these obvious trends, the no-brainer solutions, and the incredible opportunities that surround us in the world today.

Podcast Episode #66

louisiana