Once the first dirty bomb detonates in San Francisco, fake news king Mark Zuckerberg has 700 acres of Kauai lands to retreat to (as soon as he gets done suing the native Hawaiians out of their ancestral lands). Mark’s plan to build a wall all along his property to keep the locals out is smart because you know they’ll pound the shit out of him at first sight.
Even Mark’s buddy, Facebook board member and early investor, Peter Thiel has a private jet gassed up and waiting to fly his family and friends to the most expensive place in the world, New Zealand, if World War III ensues. He got citizenship without evening visiting. Ah, how nice it is to be a billionaire!
But what about the rest of us poor saps who can’t afford to pillage indigenous people or cough up $20,000 an hour for a 12-hour Gulfstream 650 flight to New Zealand? Are we commoners screwed? Heck no! We must stand our ground and fight for our freedom as the ungodly rich flee. If we emerge victorious, then we can rebuild our own empires and permanently ban those cowards who left us when we needed their resources the most.
Preparing For World War III
Let’s hope we have peace on Earth or at least peace in a protected America. International unrest seems to be rising to new heights. But just in case the world goes to hell, here are some things I’m planning on doing and so should you.
1) Be as fit as I was in high school. Now is the time to stop making excuses about physical fitness. At 5’10” and ~168 lbs, I’m overweight according to my doctor and all online research. I used to tell myself that because I play so much tennis, my quads and calves are so much bigger and heavier than the average person. But I know this is bullshit because I was a cut 150 – 155 lbs in high school and my legs were just as big.
It’s important to be as lean as possible when you’re chasing down an intruder or running away from an angry mob. I plan to make sure I can run three consecutive miles in 18 minutes or less because I’m only about two miles away from the ocean where I can take cover among the sea people. Make sure you are fit enough to run nonstop to your closest safe zone!
Here are two weight charts to see if you’re a healthy weight. If you’re not, then at least make sure you can complete the distance and time requirements. The least fit will die first!
2) Reinforce my secret room. Do you remember watching Wes Craven’s 1991 film, The People Under The Stairs? It’s as good as watching The Exorcist as a kid. Nightmares galore! You’ll learn from the movie that everybody should build a secret room so nobody can find them. Your secret room should have electrical outlets for a mini fridge, microwave, router, CCTV, laptop, and cell phone. You should be able to live in your secret room for at least a month to let any sort of nuclear radiation thin out a little. If your enemy is camped outside, the longer you can hold out, the higher your chance for survival as they move on to their next victims.
Don’t forget to build a ventilation system and reinforce the entry way with steel rebar. The biggest risk to a secret room is that it gets discovered. Your enemies could smoke or burn you out, so consider having some type of anti-fire device, and definitely keep several oxygen masks as well.
3) Train in hand-to-hand combat and firearms. Now is the time to watch every single Youtube video there is about how to use a knife and a gun. Take classes in hand-to-hand combat as well. Focus on chopping the person’s throat, elbowing the solar plex, and kneeing the groin. If you can grab a hold of your assailant’s pinky, bend it backwards until it snaps.
I studied martial arts for years growing up in Asia so don’t f with me intruders! Time for everyone to brush up and get fierce!
4) Create an A-team. If it’s just you and your family, it’s going to be a little harder to survive the war compared to a hoard of 60 heavily armed people. For example, nobody is stopping Negam in The Walking Dead, even though all he has is a baseball bat. In order to build a team, you’ve got to make a pact before anything happens. That means reaching out to your nearby friends and sharing your contingency plan with them. Maybe they’ll think you’re crazy, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
You don’t want to be that dumb ass who connects over LinkedIn or sends an e-mail out of the blue when you just lost your job or want something. You need to be maintaining relationships long before something bad happens!
If your house gets overrun, you need to be able to flee to a friend’s place. I have one friend who lives 2.5 miles away who has already built a panic room with a 6-inch reinforced steel door. The importance of being fit enough to run nonstop to your closest ally cannot be underestimated.
The Financial Samurai A-Team will include any reader who has read since 2012, contributed at least 100 thoughtful comments, knows how to communicate and play well with others, and has skills in archery, camping, hand-to-hand combat, and critical reasoning. Of course, you’ve got to run three miles in under 18 minutes.
5) Set up a proprietary communication system. If either my wife or I am ever captured, we have a secret code word we will use if ever we get to speak again. A lot of times captives are forced to speak under duress (e.g., gun to head, knife to throat), hence, if for some reason I can’t detect the worry in her voice, she’ll use one of several secret words to signal her true situation. We also have a secret place to leave a message on the internet. In the event that all electronic communication is lost, we will leave little clues in the real world.
Finally, I will leave clues on Financial Samurai about my whereabouts. The clues will be on the homepage somewhere on the sidebar or in the footer.
If World War III Doesn’t Happen, What To Invest?
The chance of WWIII is pretty low, but it’s a good idea to prepare anyway. In the more likely event that our global politicians just play chicken with our lives, here are the financial moves I’ll be more eager to make.
1) Worst case scenario: hoard real assets. Money means nothing during a world war because governments will proceed to crank up the printing press to fund their army, thereby causing inflation. Sometimes there’s hyperinflation, as in the case with Germany post World War I.
Post World War I, the German mark fell from 4.2 marks to 8.91 marks per dollar. But paying for war reparations caused an economic collapse with the exchange rate rising to 4,200,000,000,000 marks per dollar by the end of 1923. The rate of inflation was 3,250,000% per month! By mid-1923 workers were being paid as often as three times a day. As soon as the workers got paid, they’d rush to buy some goods before their cash became worthless.
Real assets to consider hoarding include property, gold, silver, copper, oil, steel, cars (yes, even cars), weapons, watches, matches, lighters, multiple pair of glasses, binoculars, pads, canned food, socks and shoes. Depending on how bad things get, you want to own all the assets that money needs to buy for you to live a comfortable life. Since cash becomes useless, it’s important to have real things to barter with.
The minimalist who rents and owns nothing will be screwed. S/he will be a slave to the asset lords.
2) Bad scenario: buy the most sovereign bonds possible. If things don’t get too bad (no hyperinflation), then consider buying bonds from the country you think will come out a winner. At least buy bonds in a country that you believe will pay back its debt. The most sovereign country is usually the United States because we have the biggest army, the deepest financial system, and a world currency.
During the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the U.S. dollar gained against the world because the world found relative sanctuary in U.S. assets even though many Americans were freaking out about whether they’d have a job the next week! Remember, everything is relative when it comes to investing.
If the Chrysler building in Manhattan blows up tomorrow, stocks will tank and Treasury bonds will surge as investors flee riskier assets. Emerging market equities will probably sell off harder than the S&P 500 as well. Don’t forget the fear of contagion that wrecked the Asian economies in 1997.
I’ve been personally loading up on municipal bonds after the 10-year bond yield hit 2.5%. It’s my way of building a hedge and earning a 3%+ tax-free yield.
3) Uncertain scenario: hoard cash. If we’re just going through temporary uncertainty before we clearly know the devil, then it’s best not to take excess risk. Most politicians are rational, therefore, they can’t go crazy with their policies out of fear they’ll be overthrown.
Hoarding cash is the easiest and most logical move to make during times of uncertainty. Paying down debt without fully paying off debt is the wrong move because liquidity is most valuable during times of uncertainty. The more liquid you are, the more choices you have.
After making relatively aggressive investments in real estate crowdsourcing and municipal bonds since the end of November 2016, I’m back to prioritizing cash. I’ll still try and invest at least $20,000 a month in various instruments if my income is willing, but every dollar after that will now be hoarded until another panic event happens e.g. Brexit.
Sleep With One Eye Open
If the world is coming to an end, your number one goal is to survive until the chaos clears. Think long and hard about what you’d do in case a nuclear bomb goes off in your city. Nothing so calamitous will probably happen, but that’s what most people thought before WWII began!
Readers, what are you doing to prepare for a potential World War III? Do you find the latest political rhetoric concerning? Or do you think the people will rise up to overthrow a government if the government goes too far? What are you doing with your money?