The events of last week, bring home the uncertainty of our lives in a a world with terrorists.
It was just last Friday, that Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed by US Forces in Iraqi.General Soleimani was considered the chief military terrorists for the main state sponsor of terror, Iran.
He was considered the operational head of such terrorist organizations as Hamas and Hezbollah as well as direct commander of the Quds Force a special operations division within the Iranian military.
He is considered the mastermind behind the recent bombings of the Saudi Oil Fields, was the developer of a special IED land mind that killed so many Americans during the Iraqi occupation.
His death brought markets "face to face" with the reality that we've been living with, really since September 11, 2001. It was 19 years ago that terrorists vividly showed us the damage that dedicated fanatics can do to a free society.
The damage done that day was not just financial, although that was substantial, it was also psychological. And that's the objective of the terrorists, to place in our minds the uncertainty and fear that comes from not really knowing what lies ahead.
Right now, we are in another period of uncertainty.
Iran has promised to retaliate for Soleimani's death. But just how or when is unknown. For investors, this uncertainty can be especially difficult. It is hard to put into action an investment plan with so many unknowns.
In looking at possible investment plans, in reaction to a terrorist event, this is one of those rare times that I think the markets themselves have a lot to tells us.
There are three basic principals, that you can discern from the market's reaction to Soleimani's death,
The The first thing you notice in the Market reaction is that it is proportional. For Soleimani's death, there was a moderate reaction, stocks on Monday opened lower, but only less than 2%. It was after all an event which occurred miles away from our shores, and to date there have been few actual impacts on the US Homeland.
Contrast this to the stock market reaction 9/11. The biggest single-day point loss and single week point losses in history.So Point 1 Markets react proportionately, and so should we.
Point 2 Markets reach for safety. You can count on a flight to safety from each one of these events. And Soleimani's death was no exception. Considered by most the safest of all investments: US Treasuries have enjoyed a 15 basis point yield rally, since.
And Gold, the other chief safety asset has also seen a 7 year high. So point 2: The market looks for safety, something to consider in your portfolio.
And the final point: the market looks for those investments that will profit from this disruption caused by the terror event. And this is an easy one: its the middle east after all, and their principal asset is oil. And it has been a threat of an oil disruption that has driven this asset higher.
So there you are, three steps to consider in designing a portfolio to at least mitigate some of the effects of terrorism.
First, be proportional. Match any investment strategy to the probability of terrorism. If the likelihood of a terrorist event is low, only assign a small part of your portfolio in seeking safety.
Second, consider safe assets, such as US Treasuries and Precious metals.
And finally, look for investments that may actually benefit from the dislocation from a terrorist event. In the Middle East, that has to be oil.
You know, we do live in an uncertain world, and events like the recent events in Baghdad, remind us of that fact.
But a little planning now can go a long way in mitigating our fears and concerns when those events do occur.