Are you paranoid?

Submitted by Bubblesitter on August 21, 2010 - 4:41am
Certainly. I'm living in an Idaho bomb shelter, 5 years food supply, 100% self sufficent, barbed wire and trip wires abound
4% (1 vote)
Yes, I've taken out large life insurance, buying stocks of water/food, moved nealy all securities to gold and/or cash, etc
15% (4 votes)
I've thought about it, done "normal things" to protect my family and wealth
56% (15 votes)
I hardly think about it....My Mantra "Don't worry.....Be happy! :)
26% (7 votes)
Total votes: 27
Submitted by Bubblesitter on August 21, 2010 - 4:50am.

Am I being paranoid? A question I recently posed to myself.

With a couple kids now I've found myself thinking and planning for "contingencies" and doing more hedging for "black swan" economic and natural events.

See my threads on economic and natural calamity...

http://piggington.com/world_turned_upsid...

http://piggington.com/earthquake_got_me_...

I pose a question......Are you paranoid, If so what are you doing? Interesting to see what nut jobs (ahem, concerned cautious citizens) are out there!

Bubblesitter

Submitted by Bubblesitter on August 21, 2010 - 5:38am.

Interesting WSJ article on investing for "black swan" events

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

Submitted by UCGal on August 21, 2010 - 9:37am.

I fall somewhere between your second and third choices. I see risks in what you describe in your second choice - going all gold there is a risk of price collapse and you can't eat gold. The world is not on a gold standard and while historically it's held it's value and had a market, it is an artifical market - kind of like diamonds. With all cash you're not hedged for inflation. That said - I've got a much larger cash position these days compared to pre 2008 - but am pretty well diversified in the rest... Diversification is my hedge against the black swan events...

But - I have insurance, I have some supply of food and water on hand, plus a pretty good garden that expands every year. I try to avoid the over insurance thing... my kids will NOT be "set for life" if my hubby and I kick it - but they will be able be clothed/housed/fed and able to get through college without debt. Too many people over insure out of dynasty building dreams. I buy term and will get rid of insurance when the kids are out of college. (house will be paid for before that point.)

My husband would lean towards the bomb shelter approach... for different reaons than you'd assume. He's paranoid about fire/earthquake and the impacts on a home. He's spent a lot of time/effort fire hardening and seismic retrofitting our 1960's house. He also thinks all tradespeople, handymen, cleaning and yard services are made up of people who are secretly casing the house for future burgleries. It's a point of contention because I'd like to get a cleaning service to come in every 2 weeks, but his paranoia gets in the way. No matter how much I point out that our crap is worthless on the secondary market - that we don't have theft-quality stuff... he continues to be paranoid. He'd also invest 100% in cash/cds - which is why I handle the finances.

Submitted by outtamojo on August 21, 2010 - 11:24am.

Bubblesitter wrote:
Am I being paranoid? A question I recently posed to myself.

With a couple kids now I've found myself thinking and planning for "contingencies" and doing more hedging for "black swan" economic and natural events.

See my threads on economic and natural calamity...

http://piggington.com/world_turned_upsid...

http://piggington.com/earthquake_got_me_...

I pose a question......Are you paranoid, If so what are you doing? Interesting to see what nut jobs (ahem, concerned cautious citizens) are out there!

Bubblesitter

You know I felt waay more secure when I was single and making $9/hour with only a 100 bucks in the bank but now that I make waay more, have waay more in assets, a wife, two kids to feed I feel less secure- no its not the economy.

Submitted by bearishgurl on August 21, 2010 - 1:43pm.

UCGal wrote:
. . . I try to avoid the over insurance thing... my kids will NOT be "set for life" if my hubby and I kick it - but they will be able be clothed/housed/fed and able to get through college without debt. Too many people over insure out of dynasty building dreams. I buy term and will get rid of insurance when the kids are out of college. (house will be paid for before that point.)

Agree with this, UCGal. I too, have A LOT of term life ins. but when I don't need it anymore, I will stop paying the premiums (lol, at my age, they go UP every yr).

Submitted by NeetaT on August 21, 2010 - 10:35pm.

I'm single with no kids, thus I look forward to those "Mad Max" days.

Submitted by zk on August 22, 2010 - 6:24am.

I fall between the third and fourth categories. Not because I worry less than your average person. Quite the contrary. I just think the chances of catastrophic events resulting in reversion to a survival-of-the-fittest type scenario (within our lifetimes) are so small as to be not worth the bother.

I think there's always been (and of course always will be) a segment of the human population that, for whatever reason, thinks a giant, end-of-civilization catastrophe is right around the corner. I don't understand that mind set, but I do think that that mindset has more to do with predictions of catastrophe than any actual increase in the chances of such an event.

Submitted by NotCranky on August 22, 2010 - 10:51am.

What's to be paranoid about? I like living a life free of a "real" job. I like doing "self-sufficient" or resourceful, third world type things and always have. I admire the un-rich people in Mexico and the Phillipines, for instance, who manage to live with reasonably good hygiene, moral health and loving families.That said, I think it is currently obvious that things are pretty average or "normal", with all the good, the bad and the ugly we are accustomed to seeing intact.

Submitted by Arraya on August 22, 2010 - 6:13pm.

Economic and societal collapse is nothing to be paranoid about. It will only be as bad as we collectively make it. Which, given human behavior could be pretty bad. But, the good news is, how we conduct ourselves as our economic system fails is a choice. Though, pretending it isn't happening, starting wars or running away to some bunker in the hills are probably unhealthy and counterproductive behaviors to creating a potentially positive, rational and celebratory world. As is telling the destitute to behave and be happy, Russ. BTW- Both Mexico and the Phillipines are highly violent and crime ridden societies which will undoubtedly get worse as the US craters. But it is a good analogy to where we US is headed in the short term.

Submitted by carlsbadworker on August 22, 2010 - 8:16pm.

I am oscillating between 2 and 4. I think the system is increasingly unstable because we all got similar education, learn not to be stupid in the same way and the science is helping us to cure everything abnormal as a disease. But in fact, doing stupid things is what makes the system stable. Because chances are there will be changes that no one ever foresees.
Therefore, I don't bias against people who choose one. In fact, I am grateful that there's always a group of people who do that. But for me, I think the worst thing that will happen is death, and I am going to die regardless. So I can deal with it.

Submitted by stockstradr on August 23, 2010 - 1:37am.

Beginning in late 2004, and escalating into 2007, I made a conscious decision to become far more paranoid, cynical, and bearish - but only towards all things financial / economic.

And that decision has paid huge dividends in many areas of my life during last three years. And I cannot think of any harm it has done.

I've job-hopped now five times (within same company) over three years, out of paranoid concern that each respective dept/division I worked in was about to be hit with layoffs. That's paranoid. Yet, in each case the layoffs hit each department faster and were deeper than I even imagined, but I had already moved onto the next safer "foxhole." I've never been laid off, and amazingly I've also protected my salary level and benefits during the last three years.

Achieving that has required constant PARANOIA and vigilance.

For three years I've spent AT LEAST 10% of every work day either analyzing the job security of my current "foxhole" or networking to get the latest political gossip, to identify which safer department to job-hop into.

Last week I was cleaning out email in my old Outlook folders, some of which were roughly three years old. Out of morbid curiosity, I picked several dozen of those old emails at random and double-clicked my way through each distribution list. Double-clicking pops up their Outlook profile, which showed me over 75% of ALL the many hundreds of people I worked with over the last three years are now listed "Terminated" in the Outlook directory.

Unreal.

We sold our home in 2005. We shorted the stock market. I could go on. Being paranoid has paid big benefits.

And do you think my wife appreciates me less for my paranoia? The opposite is true, and she said it to me this weekend. She appreciates me even more, because she has seen all her co-workers each lose over a half million on mistakes we didn't make in areas like housing, stock market, jobs.

And I'm not over being paranoid. The Fat Lady has NOT sung yet regarding the length of this economic depression.

We've downsized. Our focus continues to be hoarding money, and we've now a nice six-figure amount in savings (not counting 401k's here). You save for the bloody bottom, which still lies ahead of us. You save to survive that, and to have spending money available to buy when others are forced (at the bloody bottom) to sell their assets at 90% off pricing.

Submitted by carlsbadworker on August 23, 2010 - 9:18am.

stockstradr, very good. Can you teach us a thing or two about "analyzing the job security of the current 'foxhole' or networking to get the latest political gossip, to identify which safer department to job-hop into"?

I am usually the last one to know about layoffs, although luckily it never impacted me personally.

Submitted by sdrealtor on August 23, 2010 - 7:27pm.

stockstrdr,
It isnt paranoia if everyone truly is after you;)

Submitted by stockstradr on August 23, 2010 - 8:17pm.

carlsbadworker,

I think your yanking my chain. I think yah know I'm just ranting on, rambling about nothing. I've got nothing to teach.

sdrealtor,

yer comments are making me paranoid! I think I need to blog-hop to a another web forum where I feel *safer*
:-)