Other risks

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BearBones
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Other risks

Post by BearBones » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:43 am

Many of us are here because investment gains are secondary to minimizing large losses in unforeseen market conditions. But what about other risks that we ignore? Fraud, theft, etc. Some of these might be as high or higher a risk than market risk in a conventional portfolio. So I would like to hear your opinions. And what we can do about them. Here are two, to start:

1. Divorce.
Few talk about this, but it can easily wipe out a large majority of one's assets (I've been there).
What to do to mitigate? Choose wisely, nurture your mental health, your spouse, and your marriage. Perhaps be aware of huge differences in state laws. Consider prenup agreement. Or just stay legally unwed.

2. Geomagnetic storm.
Posts on this in the past, many by MT.
http://gyroscopicinvesting.com/forum/ot ... /#msg26769
http://gyroscopicinvesting.com/forum/pe ... 2/#msg5762
What to do to mitigate? Back up sensitive data to CD/DVDs, cash and bullion under mattress, generator. How to build a simple Faraday cage for backup hard drives, anyone?
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sophie
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Re: Other risks

Post by sophie » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:06 pm

How about the #1 cause of bankruptcy:  medical expenses.  For this:  have insurance, try to be aware of traps like having surgery at an approved hospital but the anesthesiologist turns out to be out of network, and - importantly - have a good sized emergency fund or pool of accessible cash.  I suspect that in many cases, people who go bankrupt because of medical expenses are mortgaged to the hilt, already deep in credit card debt, and have little or no savings.

And the #2 cause:  job loss.  Biggest reason to become financially independent as soon as you can, in my book - whether or not you intend to actually retire early.
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ochotona
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Re: Other risks

Post by ochotona » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:24 pm

Definitely your health is something much under your control. I have always observed that most of the folks at gun shows who are out seeking "protection" are obese, some morbidly obese.

Wear your seatbelts, don't speed, don't make unneeded car trips, don't drive at night, don't use a motorcycle, don't be an alcoholic or drug abuser, have good working smoke alarms and CO detectors, keep a first aid kit and know how to use it, know emergency procedures for your area... earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado. Gosh, beyond that, what is there?

Wear sunscreen. Use personal flotation devices while boating... always. Drink lots of water.

Carry ID and health history with you (I use ROADID.COM)
Last edited by ochotona on Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pugchief
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Re: Other risks

Post by pugchief » Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:19 pm

BearBones wrote: Many of us are here because investment gains are secondary to minimizing large losses in unforeseen market conditions. But what about other risks that we ignore? Fraud, theft, etc. Some of these might be as high or higher a risk than market risk in a conventional portfolio. So I would like to hear your opinions. And what we can do about them. Here are two, to start:

1. Divorce.
Few talk about this, but it can easily wipe out a large majority of one's assets (I've been there).
What to do to mitigate? Choose wisely, nurture your mental health, your spouse, and your marriage. Perhaps be aware of huge differences in state laws. Consider prenup agreement. Or just stay legally unwed.

2. Geomagnetic storm.
Posts on this in the past, many by MT.
http://gyroscopicinvesting.com/forum/ot ... /#msg26769
http://gyroscopicinvesting.com/forum/pe ... 2/#msg5762
What to do to mitigate? Back up sensitive data to CD/DVDs, cash and bullion under mattress, generator. How to build a simple Faraday cage for backup hard drives, anyone?
I just saw The Big Short. I knew the bulk of it, but was shocked by the amount of blatant fraud. There is no way to protect against this other than keep your entire net worth in gold under your mattress. Otherwise, diversify across institutions, assets, etc., and take every possible precaution.

Divorce: Been there, done that. I agree that the best advice is prenup, prenup, prenup.  It doesn't matter if you have no assets. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce. You just can't fathom it happening when you are 'in love', but it more than likely will. If you are already married, it's already too late, but I would still recommend talking to a good family lawyer familiar with the laws in the state you reside in, regardless of how solid you think your marriage is. Not being cynical, just realistic. Ask me how I know.
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MediumTex
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Re: Other risks

Post by MediumTex » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:41 pm

I think that mental health is probably one of the least appreciated risks that everyone faces.

We live in a world where one bad decision can undo a lifetime of good decisions, even as we are all bombarded with ever more decisions that need to be made.  The importance of good decision making has always been a fact of life, of course, but I think that today the decision making is far more abstract than it was back in caveman days.  The caveman knew that walking near a ledge was more risky than walking other places.  For modern humans, there seem to be figurative high ledges scattered everywhere and placed randomly, and I think that this chips away at one's ability to maintain a healthy mind.

Consider how the U.S. is the envy of the world in many areas, and yet people who live here seemingly do nothing but complain about all that is wrong with it.  To me, finding oneself in the midst of the greatest abundance of material goods in the history of the world with very little in the way of serious outside threats, and yet being miserable much of the time because of images that flash across a series of electronic screens is a form of mass mental illness.

People owe it to themselves to cultivate peace of mind because it makes life more satisfying in countless ways, and yet I see so many people spending their time and energy on things that do nothing but upset them, and about which they can do nothing except impotently complain.  What can you call that except some kind of soul-sucking mass delusion cultivated by those who profit from people being in an endless state of agitation?

Consider, too, that there are more antidepressants being prescribed now than at any time in our history, and there are more people who report being depressed/anxious/alienated than at any time in our history.  Isn't that strange?  A Martian might look at that situation and say "I don't think those drugs are doing what people think they are doing."

This is only tangentially related to the topic of mental illness, but it's interesting to me how intellectuals are quick to point out the flaws in belief systems premised upon supernatural beliefs, and yet all sorts of these same intellectuals engage in their own magical thinking when it comes to creating optimistic future scenarios involving human knowledge and progress.  Every dominant species that has roamed the earth for millions of years has had a period of ascendancy and then decline based on the favorability of the climate and habitat to their form of existence.  The idea that we are somehow different is nothing but hubris driven by what is essentially a supernatural belief in the idea that we are somehow different from every organic life form that preceded us and that will come after us.  Our intelligence if certainly something to be proud of, but I can easily imagine a couple of whales having the following discussion on that topic:

Whale 1 ("W1"): "Did you hear that the thumb-bots caught my cousin the other day?"

Whale 2 ("W2"): "Oh man, I'm sorry to hear that."

W1: "Yeah, he's probably already on the menu in some Japanese thumb-bot restaurant."

W2: "Fucking thumb-bot monsters."

W1: "Yeah, with their little skinny hairless bodies, obnoxious thumbs and fancy boats."

W2: "They've been on a 10,000 year run of good luck and it has made them think they are special."

W1: "Yeah.  We've been out here growing brains WAY bigger than theirs for millions of years and they think of us as little more than lamp oil, trick performers and lunch."

W2: "I know.  It sucks.  I guess they'll probably be gone soon enough, though.  Maybe another 1,000 years."

W1: "Yeah.  A lot of them actually seem excited about it.  I hear that they believe that there is this supernatural thumb-bot that lives in the sky that actually hates most of the thumb-bots because of all of the stupid things they do to each other and pretty soon he is going to kill most of them himself and then torture their spirits for all of eternity because of their evil ways."

W2: "That would be kick ass."
Last edited by MediumTex on Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AdamA
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Re: Other risks

Post by AdamA » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:32 pm

I wish I was a cartoonist.

I feel like someone could make a great comic strip  out of whales discussing the thumb-bots.  I'm not sure how...sorta like Dilbert...but with whales and thumb-boys instead of Dilbert.
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Fred
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Re: Other risks

Post by Fred » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:48 pm

ochotona wrote: Wear your seatbelts, don't speed, don't make unneeded car trips, don't drive at night, don't use a motorcycle, don't be an alcoholic or drug abuser, have good working smoke alarms and CO detectors, keep a first aid kit and know how to use it, know emergency procedures for your area... earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado. Gosh, beyond that, what is there?

Wear sunscreen. Use personal flotation devices while boating... always. Drink lots of water.

Carry ID and health history with you (I use ROADID.COM)
Reminded me of a song from the days of my youth....

Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67u2fmYz7S4
tennpaga
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Re: Other risks

Post by tennpaga » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:58 pm

That was awesome, MT.
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BearBones
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Re: Other risks

Post by BearBones » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:11 pm

Indeed. Lots to reflect on here. Thanks.
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