Isaac battered portions of the southeastern United States last week. Neither the force of the storm or the locations to be impacted could be anticipated with precision; however estimates ranged from a Tropical Storm to a Category 2 hurricane with landfall somewhere between Miami and New Orleans. It would have been both impractical and imprudent to evacuate the entire southeast, so most folks simply took what precautions made sense and settled in for the duration.
The next big storm is predicted to make landfall within the next few months, and will be centered in the vicinity of Wall Street in New York City. Its breadth will likely impact the entire nation’s both economic and political landscape, with gale force winds primarily pounding the financial markets. What can we do to prepare?
As with Isaac, it would be both impractical and imprudent to act hastily by making dramatic changes to our financial plan or investment portfolio without knowing when, precisely where, or how destructive the storm might be. If our financial affairs and portfolios are built on solid foundations and we have effectively diversified our risks, then we have already made our appropriate preparations and can settle in for whatever comes. Ferociously volatile markets and political uncertainty are always every bit as unpleasant as the roar of pounding waves and howling winds. But, this storm too will pass and the sun will shine once more. We don’t want to be deep underground in a dark cave when the sun comes up.
Of course, if our financial affairs are in dishevel and our investment portfolio inadequately diversified and hedged against interest rate, inflation, currency and other risks… Well, there may still be time…and always hope for a last-minute lifeboat.