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Hypothetical limited nuclear exchange
Old 09-04-2017, 02:30 PM   #1
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Hypothetical limited nuclear exchange

This is a topic which is possibly in the back of everyone's mind but can devolve into bickering and arguments if politics are brought into the discussion. I have asked the moderators if I could present it for discussion and we agreed to try and keep things neutral, hypothetical and non-specific. We agree the topic will get locked or deleted if things go off kilter.

So here is the topic/question:

In the event of a limited nuclear exchange somewhere in the world and the prospect of a large disruption in trade relations, what would you do as it related to your personal finances and retirement portfolio?

I know the initial reaction is to not think too much about this, but I would rather have at least an outline of a plan of action, even if that plan is just to stay the course and maintain current stock/bond/cash allocations.

There probably are not too many of us around who were invested during WWII, much less early retired during that time (imoldernu maybe?) so our collective real world experience with vast disruptions in trade and travel may be limited.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:34 PM   #2
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Initial reaction....worldwide panic. Sell everything the day before the attack and buy it all back at bargain prices when the exchanges eventually reopen.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:34 PM   #3
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John Bogle (my investment hero), always says short of some geo-political disaster stay the course. I have some gold, so if hyper inflation hits I MIGHT be ok for a while. Ill stay the course. Im in NYC so Ill probably be dead with the first strike, and I wont have to worry for long. Thanks for the uplifting thread. Scream therapy is rapidly approaching.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:35 PM   #4
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It will never happen unless one lands on our shores.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
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^ I doubt we would know which day would be the day before the attack. Could be today.

Personally I would stay the course. I would probably check my AA and move from bonds to stocks if events caused my portfolio to become out of whack.

If it's the limited nuclear exchange I am thinking is most likely currently, I personally don't see it as adversely effecting the economy since there is not that much trade between the two countries as far as I know. So I would view any drop in the market as a buying opportunity.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:37 PM   #6
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It will never happen unless one lands on our shores.
Senator, If Im able to flee, Ill rent one of your places for cash or gold, ok? I have a dog is that cool?
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:37 PM   #7
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Initial reaction....worldwide panic. Sell everything the day before the attack and buy it all back at bargain prices when the exchanges eventually reopen.

In this hypothetical world, there are no do-overs or crystal balls.


You would be presented with whatever the market allows you to buy or sell for Monday morning (assuming the event happened over the weekend and assuming the markets even opened for regular trading).
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:41 PM   #8
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Since all of mine are in tax deferred accounts if able I would shift into the stable value funds then see how far the market drops then buy, buy, buy.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:42 PM   #9
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Some break from levity is appreciated but for the most part I am interested to know what people think they REALLY would do in such an event.

Right now I am not sure what I would do. I am well prepared to stay the course through a 2009 style market drop but I do not know what I would do if we became a more isolated. I don't specifically have emerging markets or international ETFs in our portfolio (much to my sadness considering the YTD gains you guys have had).
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:46 PM   #10
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Economically speasking, a limited event seems little different than wars that have occurred during the past few decades, so I would not make significant investment moves. A large scale event can render moves moot.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:48 PM   #11
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This is a topic which is possibly in the back of everyone's mind but can devolve into bickering and arguments if politics are brought into the discussion. I have asked the moderators if I could present it for discussion and we agreed to try and keep things neutral, hypothetical and non-specific. We agree the topic will get locked or deleted if things go off kilter.

So here is the topic/question:

In the event of a limited nuclear exchange somewhere in the world and the prospect of a large disruption in trade relations, what would you do as it related to your personal finances and retirement portfolio?

I know the initial reaction is to not think too much about this, but I would rather have at least an outline of a plan of action, even if that plan is just to stay the course and maintain current stock/bond/cash allocations.

There probably are not too many of us around who were invested during WWII, much less early retired during that time (imoldernu maybe?) so our collective real world experience with vast disruptions in trade and travel may be limited.
Very interesting topic.

Personally I would probably do nothing and "stay the course". This would not be the result of some sort of vast wisdom, so much as being the result of not having a clue about what to do.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:51 PM   #12
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Some break from levity is appreciated but for the most part I am interested to know what people think they REALLY would do in such an event.

Right now I am not sure what I would do. I am well prepared to stay the course through a 2009 style market drop but I do not know what I would do if we became a more isolated. I don't specifically have emerging markets or international ETFs in our portfolio (much to my sadness considering the YTD gains you guys have had).

Do you rely on this money to eat? Is the house paid off? This is why I paid off my house, I sleep better at night. I could have made way more in the market but a paid off home is a security blanket for me. How panicky were you in February 2009? I was numb, but invested anyway. Maybe next time It goes to zero IDK. Dont worry about the YTD on the EM, They are still a laggard compared to my other equities for the last 10 years.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:56 PM   #13
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One idea that comes to mind, is to move some of the cash part of my asset allocation, from Vanguard to greenbacks in my pocket. Maybe enough to last me until the end of 2018.

Then, if the internet went down for war related reasons, I would still have money to live on for a while.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:57 PM   #14
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Personally I would probably do nothing and "stay the course". This would not be the result of some sort of vast wisdom, so much as being the result of not having a clue about what to do.
About the same here, and for the same reason.

Except maybe buy futures in almonds, lettuce, and other crops grown mostly in California.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:03 PM   #15
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Awww, I was hoping Al was writing another book.

I'm reminded of an old ad by one of the homebrew beer supply companies. "In case of nuclear attack you'll be a lot more popular than the guy down the street who collects sramps."
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:04 PM   #16
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Whats your AA? Specifically the cash portion, precious metals(physical).? If you currently have excess and are the typical FIRE'd member that most probably are leaving millions to heirs ,I would get money in the house safe and get some silver coins. All that getting free miles and credit card points wont feed you. I can not imagine the run on the supermarkets that would happen here. They predict 2 inches of snow and I cant even buy a dented can of spaghettiO's. Id probably starve after 2 weeks.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:05 PM   #17
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About the same here, and for the same reason.

Except maybe buy futures in almonds, lettuce, and other crops grown mostly in California.
Under the current threat it will be a west cost hit, I would think twice about those futures.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:06 PM   #18
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^ I doubt we would know which day would be the day before the attack. Could be today.
You caught that huh?
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:11 PM   #19
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Please try to remember Fermion's request to "keep things neutral, hypothetical and non-specific" (in other words, a hypothetical, non-specific war that we can discuss neutrally without politics). The objective is to keep this fascinating thread from devolving into political wrangling so that it can remain open.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:13 PM   #20
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One idea that comes to mind, is to move some of the cash part of my asset allocation, from Vanguard to greenbacks in my pocket. Maybe enough to last me until the end of 2018.

Then, if the internet went down for war related reasons, I would still have money to live on for a while.
Buy Zimbabwean dollars and Weimar Republic marks........hyperinflation would likely be rampant and the dollars you withdrew might not last a week.
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