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Many Americans wonder why anyone would want to take their money offshore. Some might reason that with news of the Dow rising to record levels, inflation being tamed, the unemployment rate standing at its lowest level in six years and the federal deficit being down sharply, that there is no real reason to go offshore. In spite of all the national good news, there are many legitimate reasons for moving money offshore. In a nutshell, all these reasons are based on the fact that offshore rules are different from domestic ones.

Since the French Revolution, the wealthy have moved money offshore to safeguard their assets, to make a decent return, and to avoid paying taxes on their gains. There are currently some 218 jurisdictions that offer these and other special incentives to foreign investors, and many are among the best places on Earth to vacation. For example, the Caymans, three lush islands 475 miles from Miami, do not levy taxes on personal or corporate income, capital gains or your overall wealth. On top of that, the islands' financial-privacy laws can protect your assets from creditors and people who might sue you. It is indeed no wonder why the main street of this tropical paradise is lined with branches of banks from New York City, Amsterdam and Geneva.

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