Blowing Up – Tail Risk and Crisis Investing (Part One)

Published by Bryce Foster on

 

Just this morning I re-read one of my favorite essays by Malcom Gladwell, Blowing Up.

 

It tells the story of two absolute legends in the financial markets,  Nassim Taleb, and Victor Neiderhoffer. Both with very drastic approaches to trading, and very different trajectories in outcomes.

 

Read the essay, I’m not going to sit here and rehash the whole thing. But what it did make me consider (and re-consider many nights) is the concept of ‘Blowing Up’.  

 

In entrepreneurship and trading,  ‘Blowing Up’ is essentially being unprepared for a ‘once in a lifetime’ negative event that craters your business or portfolio.

 

The coronavirus (more specifically the shutdowns and panic that have accompanied it) is one such event.  It’s causing people to ‘blow up’. Are you one of them?

 

If your income was tied to one single physical location, you probably are feeling the pain right now.  If you worked in the restaurant industry, night clubs, anything public events. If that was your sole source of income (even if you made great money doing it), then you’re getting crushed right now sitting at home.  This is ‘blowing up’.

 

Plenty of businesses have been shut down and subsequently bankrupted overnight due to this phenomenon.  They had one means of income, and lots of monthly expenses. Take away the income for 30 days and suddenly the business disappears.  

 

These are scary times.  Many had a single job as their sole source of income, and now find themselves eagerly awaiting a unemployment check.

 

So what can you do? 

 

Unfortunately, the real key is to be prepare far in advance for your income streams to be compromised.  Whether you are an office worker, truck driver or business owner, you need to be earning incomes in different ways simultaneously.  

 

This week we’re going to kick off a series of financial self reliance.  In the next post, I’ll talk about building multiple streams of income (the real way, not the info-product selling way) and how you can start immediately.

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