Investor CAFÉ

The 9/11 Investment Strategy: Preparing for the Unexpected

“It’s easier to prepare than to predict.” — Hank Brock

I gave my first talk about the 9/11 terrorist attacks yesterday at the New York City chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). I moved to New York only a week before the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to become the new president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and witnessed firsthand the collapse of the Twin Towers. My first job as FEE president was to decide whether we still would have our annual “Liberty Dinner” a month later, with Paul Gigot, editor of the Wall Street Journal, as our keynote speaker. I decided to go ahead with it, and we ended up with a packed audience of 200 people at the Harvard Club.

At last night’s AAII meeting, I decided to talk about how to create an investment portfolio that prepares you for unpredictable “black swan” events and other unexpected disasters.

In the week following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the Dow declined 14%, but long-term Treasury bonds rose 10% and gold skyrocketed 33% to $287 an ounce.

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