“If ye are prepared ye shall not fear,” is from the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is quoted in Prophetic Statements on Food Storage for Latter-day Saints, by Neil H. Leash.
In the forward to Leash’s book, Duane S. Crowther, author of Inspired Prophetic Warnings, advises to avoid fear and anxiety by making sound preparations, and to approach the subject with an “urgent calm” rather than anxiety and alarm.
Leash and Crowther aren’t simply talking about food storage. They’re talking about preserving your well-being beyond food, including money and investing—all of which can be lost in a blink of an eye.
Considering how bull markets end—a crash—and how in a couple of days our food network can be disrupted beyond recognition–there are a lot of similarities in their fragility. The stock market crash on October 24, 1929 certainly involved the fragility of both.
And yet, investors know they should have some bonds, for example, but for whatever reason, put them off until tomorrow—a guarantee they will not have them today. They know they should have some food stored, but most don’t have a long-term plan; knowing and doing live in two different worlds.
I had a chance to listen the late John Kenneth Galbraith talk when I was at Babson in the early 90s. Keynesian economics aside, I appreciate his understanding of investor psychology—and how timeless his advice has been. Leash refers to Galbraith’s book: A Short History of Financial Euphoria from 1994:
- There can be few fields of human endeavor in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance. Past experience, to the extent that it is part of memory at all, is dismissed as the primitive refuge of those who do not have the insight to appreciate the incredible wonders of the present (p. 13).
- All crises have involved debt that, in one fashion or another, has become dangerously out of scale in relation to the underlying means of payment (p. 20).
- Individuals and institutions are captured by the wondrous satisfaction from accruing wealth (p. 106).
- The associated illusion of insight is protected, in turn, by the oft-noted public impression that intelligence, one’s own and that of others, marches in close step with the possession of money (p. 106).
- Out of that belief, thus instilled, then comes action—the bidding up of values (p. 106).
- The upward movement confirms the commitment to personal and group wisdom. And so on to the moment of mass disillusion and the crash (p. 106).
- And thus the rule, supported by the experience of centuries: the speculative episode always ends not with a whimper but with a bang (p. 4)
- When will come the next great speculative episode, and in what venue will it recur…there are no answers; no one knows, and anyone who presumes to answer does not know he doesn’t know. But one thing is certain: there will be another of these episodes and yet more beyond. Fools, as it has long been said, are indeed separated, soon or eventually, from their money. So, alas, are those who, responding to a general mood of optimism, are captured by a sense of their own financial acumen. Thus it has been for centuries; this in the long future it will also be (p. 110)
- Then will be rediscovered the oldest rule of Wall Street: Financial genius is before the fall (p. 98).
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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