By Jess Peterson
It seems to be happening more and more these days where I find myself in front of a dooms sayer lecturing me on the market, government, Obama, the dollar, and the UN. I don’t know where exactly these people come from or from where they get their ideas, but it seems as if they are fascinated with me and what I do. I used to debate the issue or issues that seemed to have them so spun-up. They simply dismissed everything I said. Realizing, I was never going to change their views, now, I save my breath and agree with them, yep, you’re right the world is coming to an end.
Yet, I do find it humorous that dooms sayers love to invest. They might not have a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds or whatever the new popular theme is that’s an easily repeatable buy the sales guy at your 401(k) meeting, but dooms sayer’s do invest.
A recent meeting with a prospective client (dooms sayer), had me finally think about what the guy was actually saying. He went on the typical rant about everything under the sun and how nothing is right in the world and we’re all doomed. Great! I exclaimed and then just said, “Then why are you sitting here?”
I saw the look of surprise on his face and he had taken offense with what I had just said to him. Look, I said, if you think the world is going to end, why do you want to invest? Investing implies a future of some sorts, you’re making an educated deduction that the things will get better and increase in value in the future. Investing implies that you see some sort of future for yourself, your children, humanity even. If you think the world is going to end and society is going to break down, what is the point in opening an account and giving me money to invest for your future?
Also, before you bring up asset classes or precious metals or whatever else you think may be worth more when the end is near. Let me point out, the internet won’t work, we won’t have electricity. Every utility you take for granted will cease to function at some point. All the gold bars you have stored away in some bank vault won’t be accessible because the guy with the key is long gone. So if you’re whole thesis is the world is slowly declining and breaking down and becoming a shell of its former self, I’m the last guy you want to talk to. My job is to help give people a financial future. Also, I’m an optimist at heart.
My investment strategy for the end of the world would probably be somewhere along the lines of food, shelter, fuel, generator, and guns. Drag all that stuff somewhere high up in the mountains and start building in the middle of nowhere. That’ll give you the most return and you’ll be sticking to your guns (pun intended) on your thoughts about the future. And in the event the world and society lasts longer than your lifespan, well you have a pretty sweet man cave.