Here are my suggestions for “alternative” investments that will make you a more antifragile person. That is to say, after implementing these, you will have less fear of chaos, stress, and volatility entering your life — your downside risks will less, while your upside potential will be greater. For a quick definition of antifragile see here.
Ideally you’d have the following:
- Savings account with at least 6 months living expenses
- Cold hard cash that you keep under the mattress, in a strong box or what have you
- Foreign cash in two different currencies
- If you’re out of job, you’ll need the savings to live on.
- If you have a job, but need to pounce on an great investment opportunity (or pay a ransom) immediately, you’ll need something very liquid. This will put you in a more advantageous position than someone whose assets are tied up.
- If the banking system fails as it almost did in 2008, you’ll be happy you’re one of the few with big stash of real money. Cash will be king.
- If you’re country’s cash is no longer accepted or inflation is skyrocketing, you’ll at least have some foreign cash to get by
2. Alternative Energy
- Solar panels
- Windmill/wind power
- Extra diesel fuel and a generator (diesel fuel stores the longest)
- Tesla power wall or back up battery
- Gasoline futures. See http://www.mygallons.com/
- High optionality. If one power supply is unavailable or too expensive, you can use another method.
- In a case of a real calamity, if you are able to produce your own power and sell it, you become much more valuable than you were in normal times, so you’re almost hoping for chaos! — at least from a financial perspective. That’s antifragile.
3. Dual Citizenship
Imagine something terrible happens in your home country, such as a civil war or financial collapse. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just buy a plane ticket and be on your way to another (home) country? In today’s globalized and interconnected world, no country is immune to collapse. I happen to live in the United States, which seems powerful and stable, but is also the country that people would love to bring down the most. It would be nice to know that I could make me way to Canada, if need be.
This idea is not just for doomsday scenarios. Perhaps you want to purchase real estate for investment or retirement purposes — or there are better job opportunities in your other country. If you’re a citizen, it’s no problem. Speaking of…
4. Foreign Real Estate
This a good hedge against other investments in your home country that are tightly correlated, but it also gives you that alternate place to live in case the zombie apocalypse hits your home town.
It also you encourages you to travel more to a foreign country and learn about the culture there, which is another excellent antifragile strategy.
5. A Garden / Extra land
A garden or farm allows you to grow your own food. This is good for several reasons:
- you get highly nutritious, organic food which keeps you healthier and protects you more effectively from disease, free radicals, toxic chemicals, and stress
- you can sell excess food for profit. As chaos rises, your food prices should go up
- if the land becomes super valuable, you can just sell it and set up a garden/farm somewhere else
Extra land has similar benefits. It’s a place you can:
- put your garden,
- construct a greenhouse,
- construct some other type of building for your benefit,
- move to if your current living situation is undesirable,
- or just sell to someone else if the price is right.
True friends do not require a high degree of maintenance (low downside) and will come through for you in times of need (big upside). From a practical perspective they also provide the following benefits (and there are hundreds more):
- access to jobs
- someone to share your feelings with
- ideas to help with your kids, finances, home repair, recipes, etc…
- conduits/introductions to other acquaintances that can help with literally anything
- backup/duplicate functions such as house sitting, pet sitting, babysitting or even backup friends or mating partners if you encounter a loss.
It’s safe to say the best investment you can always make is in yourself. This could be a whole other blog post or even a separate book, but it should be obvious that the more time and money you spend on bettering yourself, the more adaptable, stronger, smarter, and healthier you’ll be. Which means you can survive and thrive even when the world is in disarray.
The foundations are always nutrition and mental health in my opinion. Stay on the cutting edge of health and always try eat as well as possible. See a therapist or read inspiring self improvement books. Engage in activities that bring you joy. Everything else should take off from there. Here are some people and resources in no particular order that have helped me greatly and which I highly recommend:
- Sally Hogshead — How to Fascinate. In this book, Sally talks about how each of us has one or two distinctive personality types ( out of 49) that can makes us effective and powerful. The main takeaway for me was don’t worry about your weaknesses, play to your strengths. This makes us more “fascinating” to others. Simple, yet very effective advice. It changed the way I approached my career and thought about myself, in general.
- James Altucher — Listen to his podcasts, read his blog posts and/or his book Choose Yourself. You can’t go wrong with James. He’s so brutally honest that if nothing else, it makes a great read or listen. He has so many unbelievable guests on his podcasts, that you’re bound to learn something new and amazing each time.
- Jack Canfield — The Success Principles. I was a little skeptical at first because this is the guy who wrote the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which I figured was too cheesy for me (even though I had never read it), but this dude lays out some awesome advice. The book is like a bible of success habits — something you can turn to again and again. I’ve listened to it on audio book three times now on my way to and from work.
- Jon Gabriel — The Gabriel Method. Equal parts nutrition book, weight loss book, and mental health book, Jon combines visualization and mediation with expert-level bio-chemistry and nutrition information. This guys knows his stuff. It’s also the first time I remember hearing the idea that you’re overweight because your body wants you to be. Until you can conquer things like emotional pain and stress, toxicity, and bad poor nutrition habits, you won’t lose the weight no matter what kind of diet you’re on. In fact it’s an anti-diet book.