Monday--October 14
, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 397
Financial Vigilance
"Terror Proofing Your Assets"

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, October 14 -- Terrorism has many hungers.   One of them includes eating holes in a person's assets.  War, or the threat of it, historically shifts the investment world downward as the economy moves from stability to instability.

        That's why investment planners are calling for "terror-proofing" or "war-proofing" investment portfolios, shifting the investments so that a war against Terrorism won't gnaw holes in the sack of gold one has accumulated over the years.
         David Caruso, author of "Decoding Wall Street," notes that market tumbled when Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in August 1990.   Share prices dropped 13 percent at the beginning of the war, he said, but rallied back later.
         Caruso is promoting that investors position 25 percent of their portfolio to offset any war with Iraq.  He promotes US Treasury bonds, gold, defense firms and energy.
          With snipers shooting people randomly in and around Washington, D.C., and hundreds being blown up in Terrorist bombings in Bali, an historic respite from the world's troubles, it appears Terrorism is on the march rather than retreating in the face of a world arguing over how to deal with it--through negotiations or aggressive, strike-first action.
           Economies thrive when the world is secure.   War throws a monkey wrench into the spokes of well oiled world economies, causing investors to hedge on putting capital where a bomb might explode, or a source of distribution might evaporate, or become contaminated by some biochemical or nuclear fallout that would close its borders, wire its economic jaw shut so it couldn't regurgitate profits.

          Wise investors put on their bullet-proof vests in times of war, and circle their "economic children" to protect them from the ravages of war.  They become Fathers and Mothers of Vigilance regarding their "investment children," looking out for them as they might a human child, sheltering them from the storms so they won't be maimed or crippled, or suffer the worst of all--losses instead of gains.
           Most people treat money with abuse.   They toss it around, and let it sit unprotected by shelters that protect it from the termites of inflation.   They don't guard it from the upheavals of market swings, and go about their daily "live and survive" way of life, watching their financial children drowning daily as their bank accounts drop and their credit and debt costs rise.   Were they to think about money as they thought about children, they would rush to its security.

         People forget "Financial Terrorism" is the root of much discontent.   Poor financial management puts millions of families at risk.   It deprives families of "economic security," and robs the family coffers of assets to invest in a child's education, in a better place to live, in better food, and fewer battles and turmoil over the lack of it.    Financial miss-management in families creates "Terrorism under the roof," where parents become embittered over being in constant debt, and arguments rail over what one doesn't have.    The child, deprived of many things, becomes what he is taught by association--a money abuser.   He or she never learns to respect it, for he or she has no model, not understanding that money is the fruit of one's labor, and that it is to be protected so it can offer the children a better way of life.

        Anti-money advocates have no respect for it because they don't realize the importance it offers in securing a family's stability.    They forget it takes over $200,000 to raise a child in America in a life of middle-class security.   They forget that to achieve that goal, one must invest wisely, and grow the "monetary children" along with the human ones, or, suffer the Terrorism of constant debt, and constant worry over where the next dollar is coming from. 
         That's why bullet-proofing one's investments, no matter how small, is an act of Family Vigilance.  If war and its cost to the family's financial security is impending, one owes it to his or her children to protect the family's sack of gold, and not let it be victimized by Financial Complacency.
         For families that are anti-war, anti-aggression, there are sources that offer them safe haven for their investments in times of trouble, in times of war.  One of those is PAX World Funds.

        Launched on August 10, 1971, PAX World Funds was launched as a means of investing in "ethical companies," ones that didn't reap its profits from defense, weapons, gambling, liquor, tobacco, and nuclear power.  (In the 1920's these were called "sin companies.")  PAX uses both social and ethical screens to keep its portfolio clear of companies considered "undesirable."   It  invests in companies that provide goods and services that improve the quality of life.   Their primary focus is health care, housing, technology, pollution control, utilities and education.
          PAX is an alternative for those who think investing feeds " the corporate monster," and who are adverse to managing their money at the "expense of others."   For those who aren't inclined to "bullet proof" their investments in "war-related" industries, PAX is a clear, clean option. ( )
          Terrorism is causing America and the world to look deeply into their own pockets--at both the financial cost of war, and the ethical and social costs as well.    We are debating war's nature.   Terrorism is forcing every nation to realize its fragility and its insecurities.

          The bombing in Bali--the ultimate paradise in many people's imagination--is now a place of Terror, complete with its own Ground Zero strewn with the blood of innocent people who became victims overnight.  Many who died in Bali are similar to many who died on Nine Eleven--they weren't financially secure.  Their families suffer the economic brunt of losing the security of a provider.  
           Many had no bullet-proofing.   Many families have scrambled to make ends meet, and children have suffered the pain not only of the loss of a cherished loved one, but have been victimized by financial strife because the family treasury was unattended, unmanaged.

         I grew up in "Economic Terror."  My parents fought over money almost daily.   I grew to hate money because it was the "enemy of love," always seeming to upstage the discussions of what we were going to do, and what we couldn't do.   I had no training in how to "respect money," and have suffered my own way through years of bad financial habits--i.e., not investing, not caring for the "financial" children of my labors.
         There is a balance between being paranoid about money and wise about it.   Each person must find that line and dance upon it in their own style.   

      But today, this moment, there is a need for all who have accumulated wealth to protect their family's security to take a second look at its security.   It is time for those Parents of Vigilance, Citizens of Vigilance and Loved One's of Vigilance to examine ways to shield their "financial children" from loss should the war on Terrorism escalate, and put at risk the family's safety net.
        And for those who "live and spend" and don't invest, it is time to read The Richest Man In Babylon and to start becoming Financially Vigilant.

      And, to teach children to respect money, not to abhor it, or waste it so that it becomes more important than love.   There is balance.   It needs to be sought.



Oct 13--"A Psalm Of Vigilance"

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