Five ways to thrive in a global crisis – Lessons from Noah’s Ark

Historically, global crises end with some investors being winners and others, not so well. Those who win understand the cause and effects of the crisis, the patterns they should most likely follow, and then they take action! There are others who, both, never saw it coming and are not properly instructed on what to do if the door of opportunity closes, and the impact of the crisis completely realigns their future.

One problem investors face is not having been taught how to think through the alternatives to bring stability to the pandemonium. It is a force of the will to arrest our emotions and allow our training and experience to take the lead.  If we are honest about our circumstances long enough, we too can be a winner when the pandemonium subsides, and a new economic high-water mark takes its place.  By the time the crisis is over, some boats will stay afloat, while others will sink into economic despair, or become non-existent.   

Consider this parallel:  We all woke up in 2020 with no real sense of immediate economic danger.  We were not perfectly pleased with all of life, but no one, but a few possible insiders, even had a clue of what would happen next.  By the eighth week of 2020, we had been dealt a COVID-19 pandemic that has been an unpredictable global hardship and lifestyle impacting crisis.  And yet, I believe our takeaway as investors could be that there are principles in play, in the midst of such great pain, that we can all be more successful in applying.

There was another global crisis in which we were not partakers, but we can read about it in the Old Testament book of Genesis, chapters six through nine. This was a global crisis that was an unexpected occurrence affecting everyone at the very same time.  In fact, in nearly every tongue of every people, in every country and on every continent, there is a story about a worldwide flood.

There are five lessons we can learn from Noah — ten things that we should consider:

  • Don’t miss the boat! – When you know you’re looking at a good opportunity, move yourself into position one step at a time until you have your most relevant questions answered, then move quickly before the door closes.
  • Position yourself to win by planning for high ground – It had never rained on earth before Noah built the Ark.  Look ahead on the economic curve and pick your path to your greatest and most risk-adjusted financial goals.
  • Use the Buddy System – Just as the animals entered the Ark “two by two”, it is good in business, as well as at home, to team up with others to share the risks and rewards, the victories and the hard work.
  • When you don’t have peace of mind about your direction, float for a while.  After the rain, and while the landing place was still not in sight, Noah and his family waited.  Sometimes it’s just not the right weather to set sail.
  • Stay healthy and fit – Investment opportunities, unlike some investment accounts (IRA’s and structured Trust accounts, etc), are not age-weighted, meaning they are available to anyone who is able to see and afford them.  But you must be healthy to see them and fit to enjoy them.
  • When the flood subsided, Noah and his family were the largest real estate owners in the world!
  • The only mention of “stock” in this story is livestock.  We like to categorize real estate as an “Alternative Investment”, and yet it preceded common and derivative assets like stocks and mutual funds.
  • Once you have thoughtfully contemplated your best course of action, don’t be dissuaded by those pundits who cast doubts about the future, and cannot let go of their past.
  • Noah built the Ark as a humble amateur; prideful professionals built the Titanic!  Never become arrogant about your investment performance.  Pride often comes before a fall.
  • Speed can be overrated – Both snails and cheetahs made it aboard the Ark.  If the investment is right for you, the Sponsor will wait.

Inspired by Ken Korkow – Omaha, Nebraska, “Fax of Life”

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