(TheHippo) “The reality of the matter and one that I have believed in is that during crisis there is NO SAFE HAVEN! It is a figment of your imagination and the collective mind of the market. As a friend of the family who was a trader said, ‘when markets drop the correlation becomes 1′. What he was saying is that when a crisis occurs there is no safe haven and there is no place to hide.”
“So then the question becomes what does one do? Outside of the obvious, which is short the market. Go back and look at the charts and look at what happened EACH AND EVERY TIME. The market went back up. This should not be a surprise to you, and should be rather obvious. Yet nobody during those times says, ‘buy equities, bonds, though they did say buy gold’. All you hear are about Safe Haven plays (which don’t work) and how you need to step back and wait.”
“I am a numbers guy. I focus on the statistics and let it define my plays. So when you see these charts a dropped market is a screaming buy! It does not matter what, but everything is a screaming buy. So why don’t people buy? .. Easy answer it’s about the psychology. Buying in times of market turmoil is very very difficult. I have read this Contrarian book that said people would rather be wrong with the crowd than be right in the individual.”
In times of turmoil, your only real safe haven is holding straight CASH in your home currency. Your greatest defense against future crisis and turmoil is proper position sizing (keep your positions small and manageable), stay clear of leverage (especially overnight), and always keep a chunk of cash on hand to take advantage of any great opportunities that may arise. From the article, $PCY (PowerShares Emerging Mkts Sovereign Debt ETF) looked mighty interesting around those October 2008 lows. Historically speaking, many great fortunes have been some of the greatest fortunes made have been in times of crisis. Find opportunity when others panic, and keep your position size small and manageable so that you can always consider adding a bit more if the opportunity becomes even juicier.