How I manage my investments

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Just finished “Wealth, War and Wisdom” by Barton Biggs. Niall Ferguson was the only historian who looked at the confluence of war and financial markets, but now, Biggs has done a comprehensive study of WWII and financial markets.

Biggs´s point is that every century, there is at least one event, which destroys (or re-allocates) wealth on a very large scale. For the 20th century, the Russian revolution was one, WWI was another and WWII, the biggest of them all.  The difference between the wealthy and the poor depends on what they did during these periods.

Should India expect wars in the next fifty years? Going by another Cassandra, John Gray, we certainly should. Not one with puny Pakistan, but one with China.

So where should the reasonably wealthy in India keep their stash? If you are stuck in India, even that farmhouse with guns is not of much use, as there is no second amendment right to bear arms.  Indian stocks are useful, and you might even get a bonus if India wins such a war. Stocks in countries which are likely to win wars, like the US and Russia could help. As apartments in India are likely to get blown up, land is a better option. Gold may not be of much use, as the government might take it away and issue bonds (as it happened in UK during WWII).

As unpatriotic as it may seem, a good subsidized education in India, a  permanent residency in a first world country and a swiss bank account remain the best ways to preserve life, liberty and wealth.

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