Going Offshore

Anson and Quigley were close friends. They were joint owners in a small company that ran a sight seeing boat doing harbour tours in a city popular with tourists.

The business had been growing nicely from its fitful start some six years ago. In fact they had sold the initial boat and upgraded to a character wood vessel that was much admired by their many clients as it plied the waters of this lovely harbour city, stopping here and there to point out and admire the local architecture or attraction.

The boat was very expensive and they and their wives had gone on the hook to the bank to finance it but they were confident it would pay off very well.

Even though Anson and Quigley were close friends, they did not share common views on personal finances.

Anson was by far the more cautious but when he broached the subject of protection from any potential catastrophic event, Quigley would shrug off any of Anson's suggestions and say that he was quite content with the coverage of their insurance package and change the subject.

Anson would drop the subject but set his own plans in motion.

Murphy was aboard their boat one day about a year ago and of course that was the day that if anything could go wrong, it went wrong huge!

An elderly passenger had come aboard and was enjoying the day when, on disembarking, he caught his shoe on a gangway cleat and pitched himself clean over the side guard chain and into the water between the boat and the dock. On the way down he hit his head on a piling.

They rescued the passenger promptly but sadly the hit on the head proved damaging to the extent that the poor old gentlemen suffered brain damage and was confined to a wheel chair.

You would be right in expecting that the gentleman and his goading and expectant relatives would drop the writ promptly and they did.

The long and the short of it was that the settlement exceeded their insurance by a very large amount.

When the prosecuting attorneys did their examination for discovery to expose the partners assets outside the business they found that Quigley had a fully paid for house, a sizeable investment portfolio, a piece of investment property, a large motor home, an antique car and a stamp collection which over the years had become Quigley's pride and joy and was now worth a tidy sum. They took it all. Even the stamp collection.

When they looked into Anson's affairs they found that his house was worthless because it was mortgaged to the hilt. The mortgage was held by a company domiciled in Panama and duly registered in all the right places.

Anson had been making payment as required.

He had a few thousand in his checking account, a used car and that was pretty well it. There was nothing more to see or attach?so they gave up on trying getting anything more out of Anson.

The old gentleman's fall had cost both partners equally in business assets but when it came to the private stuff, Quigley was wiped out and Anson survived almost unscathed.

When it was all over, Quigley asked his friend just what he had squirreled away, where and how.

Anson reminded Quigley of how often he had tried to steer him the right way and how Quigley had ignored him.

They are still friends but probably won't go into business together again and every now and then they meet at the pub and hoist one together and Quigley looks at his friend--- and wonders.


Anson had enlisted the aid of an accountant he knew who specialised in offshore financial planning.

No one knows for sure whether he owns that ranch that he visits often in Mexico, an investment portfolio in the Turks and Caicos and a hefty bank balance in a well known US bank. No one knows for sure because nothing is registered in his own name.


Which one are you?

Anson or Quigley?