Wow. The Google Trends result for the search term "the apocalypse" recently spiked to a new high:
Maybe this apocalypse popularity has something to do with the hit TV show The Walking Dead, which envisions life in the aftermath of a "zombie apocalypse." Or maybe there is just a collective worry that "the end is near" sweeping the nation. In the investment circles we travel in, the apocalypse myopia resulting from the Great Recession of 2008-2009 is still as strong as ever. We are still living in its long shadow and return to “that place” far too quickly and easily when volatility hits capital markets. Every negative macroeconomic data point or geopolitical event is an excuse to predict the end of the financial world.
By the way, global “macroeconomicggeddon” is 0 for 500.
The author Seth Godin chimed in on this topic in a blog post called "Apocalypse Soon":
“It's a bug in our operating system, and one that's amplified by the media.
I'm listening to a speech from ten years ago, twenty years ago, forty years ago... ‘During these tough times... these tenuous times... these uncertain times...’ And we hear about the urgency of the day, the bomb shelters, the preppers with their water tanks, the hand wringing about the next threat to civilization.
At the same time that we live in the safest world that mankind has ever experienced. Fewer deaths per capita from all the things that we worry about.
Risky? Sure it is. Every moment for the last million years has been risky. The risk has moved from Og with a rock to the chronic degeneration of our climate, but it's clear that rehearsing and fretting and worrying about the issue of the day hasn't done a thing to actually make it go away. Instead, we amplify the fear, market the fear and spread the fear as a form of solace, of hiding from taking action, of sharing our fear in a vain attempt to ameliorate it.
When we get nostalgic for past eras, for their culture or economy or resources, it's interesting that we never seem to get nostalgic for their fears.”
Erring on the side of optimism in life and investments remains the optimal position.
No apocalypse now.
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