While I was struggling to reorganize my life, a pamphlet by Harry Schultz came my way, discussing PT. In those days, Harry called it "The Three Flag Theory". This turned out to be my greatest discovery. With a net worth as small as perhaps US$25,000, or in that range, you may well be able to
quit working, enjoy life and live on your tax savings alone. You can keep your capital and most of your interest and dividends, tax-free.
But before we launch into a full description of the PT philosophy, who is Harry Schultz? Harry Schultz, ageless editor/publisher of the International Harry Schultz Letter, is a classic PT. What are the facts behind the Harry Schultz legend? Many of his newsletter readers would like to know more
about the man behind the masthead. Harry gave us this exclusive interview.
My days as a thinking humanoid began and the seeds of PT were planted during World War II when I was a soldier assigned to duty in Shanghai. Like anyone who has ever been in any army, I learned what it was to be under the thumb of a Big Brother Bureaucracy. I was a good soldier outwardly, but my
mind was elsewhere. I used every off-duty hour to read voraciously and prepare myself for the newspaper I was determined to buy after discharge. The war was winding down, and I was already a PT - Part-Time soldier, Preparing for Tomorrow. I made some money trading shares in my off-duty
hours on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. What a marvelous discovery it was for a boy from Milwaukee to see that it was possible to make money in a totally alien environment. It gave me a sense of confidence that most people never get. We all could earn a living almost anywhere, but there is this
fear that if we leave the nest something terrible will happen. The truth is, something wonderful will happen. You will discover that there are many "mobile occupations" that you can do anywhere in the world. I discovered trading. I bought and sold silk, bank shares, currency and made a small fortune (very small) in a high inflation economy. I also bought and sold gold coins and bars. By the time my discharge came through I had turned US$500 of army pay into enough money to make a down payment
on a weekly newspaper in Palm Springs, California. At the age of 22 I owned my first newspaper.
I turned this paper into the first daily the town ever had. It was later taken over by the Sun.
This experience led me to the discovery that more money could be made and getting into ruts could be
avoided if one bought a small or distressed operation, made it bigger and more profitable and then sold
it. I became a different kind of PT then, a Publisher Temporarily, as I bought and sold newspapers,
sometimes starting them from scratch. I had three basic skills: writing, editing and publishing. I found
these could be employed anywhere in the world. A basic PT tool is figuring out how your skills or
talent can be adapted to fill local needs.
My newspapers, 13 in all, were in the United States though my wartime travels in the Orient gave me
the wanderlust. I started out, after selling my last newspaper, with the idea of taking a year0long trip
around the world to see if there might be some place where I'd like to have a part-time residence. I
never moved back to the U.S. on a permanent basis. The world was just too exciting to commit myself
full-time to any one place. I felt sorry for the 95 per cent of the world's population who never know
anything but the immediate vicinity of their birthplace. Just because you were born someplace doesn't
make it the best place on Earth, though most people are so provinicial that they think their home town
is the center of the universe. Excessive familiarity with surroundings kills your spirit and breeds
laziness of mind. Worst of all, you don't grow up as much if you remain among school friends and
family. They continue to treat you as they did when you were a child. They remind you of your
limitations and "proper place." They pressure you and mould your life into conventional predictable
patterns. The only thing you experience is growing older as all your friends grow older.
Army life had convinced me that I needed to be my own person, not under anyone's thumb. The
excitement of discovering new places, going into many interesting business ventures and always making
a good living by buying and selling things was keeping me young, alert and intellectually vigorous.
When I returned several times to the United States, I was appalled by the violence and crime in the big
cities. And I speak not only of armed robbery but also of the legal violence. Americans after World
War II were suing each other as a way of life. Involved in a few small claim's suits as a defendant, I
learned quickly that victory didn't go to the morally right person. By the 1960's there were new legal
theories that would disburse the life savings of a productive hard worker like myself with deep pockets,
to any impecunious person who cared to sue. As I said, I didn't want to be under anyone's thumb and
the legal system in the United States had unquestionable tilted against anyone who had the skill or luck
to accumulate enough assets to be financially independent.
As a result of my experiences, I decided to have a "floating" home. Not a boat, but rather a state of
mind that could allow me to be a sort of modern-day nomad. I tried Canada for a few months and
loved it until winter set in. Then I took off for the fabled French Riviera and decided to live there very
modestly while trading on various stock markets all over the world. In my spare time, I wrote a book.
This turned out to be Bear Markets which Prentice Hall published.
My trading and book were both successful. As a result I had many letters from readers asking for
financial advice. This led to a newsletter for my consulting clients. While I didn't like the idea of
being tied down to deadlines and a regular job, I thought that I could write the newsletter from
anywhere in the world. And that is exactly what I did! As I moved around, the world's first portable
international newsletter helped me achieve my goals. What were these goals? To be my own boss and
to write useful information for my friends and clients exposing the truth where need be, without
worrying about anyone getting bent out of shape. The HSL, founded in 1964, was a one man
show. I have had wonderful staffers, nd have met many interesting friends via my newsletter. Mainly
by word of mouth, subscriptions came in from all over the world, including heads of state and leading
thinkers. My infornmation sources also multiplied and my creative powers expanded. I have written
the HSL from Beverly Hills, Washington, DC, London, Copenhagen, Paris, Monte Carlo and
Sydney. After all these years, it is still going strong, coming out every five weeks. It has been printed
in a dozen countries, and like me, can move across the world on short notice. A portable
communication has given me a healthier, free life. As a PT you are under no one's thumb. Only you
call the tune.
About 20 years ago, I put the concept of PT into a mini0book I called How to Keep Your Money
and Your Freedom. "Three Flags" was the way I described the need to have a second passport, a
safe haven for your assets outside your own country and a legal address in a tax haven. Over the
following years, I wrote many newsletter segments about what I eventually came to call PT. It was
also about this time that I first met Bill Hill and with him expanded the three flags to five. We
included a place of business and playgrounds. A consistent purpose in life is also one of the goals of
the true PT. With the help of Bill Hill and others, I think I've discovered one answer to the question of
how to live life to the fullest. Best wishes.