We all have irrational fears that are our guilty pleasure. Some fear ghosts and others fear aliens - I happen to get my kicks out of doomsday scenarios and how to survive apocalyptic events. So when I find myself insomniac at 2 AM on a Tuesday morning, I might as well put my inability to sleep to good use - I blog about what I just read.
Some people would say I'm crazy...
Until I point to Hurricane Katrina. Stockpile the duct tape and the potable water! Or are you the type to run around in circles waving your hands in the air?
Seriously, though, what is the length of your recovery from an emergency? I heard about a friend who went to Vegas for the weekend and that first morning there, was run over by a drunk driver. I couldn't help but think to myself what that meant for him. He's on vacation, he gets hit by a car, and escapes with his life. What happened if it was worse than being confined to a wheelchair? What if he was a laborer and his work depended on his ability to get around? Would his absence at the workplace be filled by one of a long line of applicants looking to do your job today for half the money and none of the benefits? It's the unplanned events that are the most damaging to your future goals.
Neil Strauss summed it up in his latest book, Emergency! He said, "[I] had thought that freedom was something that, as Americans, we were privileged to have, thanks to the Consitutuion and the Bill of Rights. But those documents didn't create freedom. They creasted a system. And systems create dependencies. Real freedom, I realized, meant not knowing not just where to go, but how to take care of myself if the system ever broke down." God bless America and pray that a calamity such as 9-11 doesn't collapse the system. In Alan Greenspan's retelling of that infamous day in September, he felt that the worst case scenario of the American monetary system shutting down completely was highly unlikely. Still, he encouraged that trading not stop at Wall Street.
Let's get to the point.
You have to adopt the mindset of preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. What are your contingency plans? In Doug Andrew's book, Missed Fortune 101, he showcases a graph indicating the dwindling percentage of your investment portfolio that are invested in high risk investments as you get older. The simple reason for this is that as you get older, your time to recover from that mistake is limited. If you read my last blog, "Mother's Day, Baby Boomers, and What it Means for Us Today", you'll realize the impact on our economy when the better part of 70% of 65 million retirees reach 2030 broke.
They relied on a system that might very well be broken by the time we reach retirement age. I, for one, won't be one of them. Neither will any of my friends or family or anyone I can reach between now and when I meet my maker. I am a patriot. I am a proud, first-generation American born to immigrant Filipino parents. I believe in the ingenuity of the American citizen to craft, develop, invent, and labor their way out of any challenge - natural or man-made - this world will throw at us. It ultimately falls upon each of us to find our own financial contingency plan to limit our recovery time to rebuild - whether it was an act of God or a poor investment decision in the markets.
Call me if you want to build your own financial survival kit (312) 493-2054 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want more ideas about how to survive and plan against financial armageddon? Read and follow Matt Sapaula's blogs and vodcasts at ChicagoNow.com.
"Knowing is half the battle." - GI Joe