So you’ve survived the pandemic. Congrats! Now there’s potentially World War III and an alien invasion to deal with. Damn it. If either does happen, we should learn how to prepare now.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine does have the possibility of starting the next World War. Imagine. Belarus joins Russia in the war. NATO fights back. The West levies massive sanctions against Russia. China backs up Russia. China invades Taiwan. Then the U.S. finally steps up.
If the U.S. gets heavily involved, then our citizens become at risk. Once a nuclear bomb hits America, billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg can retreat to over 700+ acres of now private Kauai land.
Even Mark’s buddy, Facebook ex-board member and early investor, Peter Thiel has a private jet gassed up and waiting to fly his family and friends to the most expensive place in the world, New Zealand, if World War III ensues.
But what about the rest of us poor saps who can’t afford to buy out indigenous people or cough up $20,000 an hour for a 12-hour Gulfstream 650 flight across the world? Are we commoners screwed? Heck no!
We must stand our ground and fight for our freedom as the ungodly rich flee our great nation! If we survive, we can then rebuild our own empires. In the process, we can confiscate the properties of those who fled and permanently ban them from returning home.
How To Prepare For World War III (And An Alien Invasion)
Let’s hope we have a swift resolution to this latest war. Let’s also hope the shooting down of multiple UFOs in North America doesn’t cause an all-out alien invasion.
However, just in case the world goes to hell, here are some things I’m planning on doing and so should you.
1) Be as fit as you were in high school.
Now is the time to stop making excuses about physical fitness. We had our chance to get fit during the pandemic, but now there’s World War 3 to deal with. If you’re overweight, it’s time to get back into tip top shape. It’s important to be as lean as possible when you’re chasing down or running away from an enemy combatant.
I plan to make sure I can run three consecutive miles in 18 minutes or less. I’m only about two miles away from the ocean where I can take cover among the sea people. Make sure you are fit enough to run nonstop to your closest safe zone! And if not, get an electronic scooter.
Here are two weight charts to see if you’re a healthy weight. If you’re not within the guidelines, then at least make sure you can complete the distance and time requirements. Remember, you don’t have to outrun an angry bear. You just need to outrun the person next to you. The least fit will suffer the greatest!
2) Reinforce your secret room (panic room).
Do you remember watching Wes Craven’s 1991 film, The People Under The Stairs? It’s as terrible as watching The Exorcist as a kid. Nightmares galore! You’ll learn from the movie that everybody should build a secret room so nobody can find them.
If you don’t have a secret room, you must build one. If you can’t build one, then convert a crawl space, attic, or unassuming closet into one. After the air strikes are done, the ground strikes will begin. A secret room will help you hide from your oppressors.
Your secret room should have electrical outlets for a mini fridge, microwave, router, CCTV, laptop, and cell phone. You should be able to live in your secret room for at least a month to let any sort of nuclear radiation thin out a little. If your enemy is camped outside, the longer you can hold out, the higher your chance for survival as they move on to their next victims.
Don’t forget to build a ventilation system and reinforce the entry way with steel rebar. The biggest risk to a secret room is that it gets discovered. Your enemies could smoke or burn you out, so consider having some type of anti-fire device, and definitely keep several oxygen masks as well.
Anne Frank and her family began hiding on July 6, 1942 until they were betrayed and arrested on August 4, 1944. A secret annex will buy yourself time to find solutions. Please visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam if you are ever there. We must never forget the atrocities of war.
Examples of panic rooms for World War 3
3) Train in hand-to-hand combat and the use of firearms.
Now is the time to watch every single Youtube video there is about how to use a knife and a gun. Take classes in hand-to-hand combat as well. Focus on chopping the person’s throat, elbowing the solarplex, and kneeing the groin. If you can grab a hold of your assailant’s pinky, bend it backwards until it snaps.
I studied martial arts for years growing up in Asia so don’t mess with me intruders! Further, as a softball slugger, I’m handy with using a bat. Time for everyone to brush up and get fierce!
4) Create an A-team to survive World War III.
If it’s just you and your family, it’s going to be harder to survive the war compared to a hoard of 60 heavily-armed militia.
In order to build a team, you’ve got to make a pact before anything happens. That means reaching out to your nearby friends and sharing your contingency plan with them. Maybe they’ll think you’re crazy, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
We created pandemic pods. We should create World War III A-teams.
Don’t be that dumbass who connects over LinkedIn out of the blue when he wants something. You need to be maintaining relationships long before something bad happens!
If your house gets overrun, you need to be able to flee to a friend’s place. I have one friend who lives 2.5 miles away who has already built a panic room with a 6-inch reinforced steel door. The importance of being fit enough to run nonstop to your closest ally cannot be underestimated.
The Financial Samurai A-Team will include any reader who has read since this site started in 2009, picked up a copy of Buy This, Not That and left a stellar review, contributed at least 100 thoughtful comments, knows how to communicate and play well with others, and has skills in archery, camping, hand-to-hand combat, and critical reasoning.
5) Set up a proprietary communication system.
If either my wife or I am ever captured, we have a secret code word we will use if ever we get to speak again. A lot of times captives are forced to speak under duress (e.g., gun to head, knife to throat), hence, if for some reason I can’t detect the worry in her voice, she’ll use one of several secret words to signal her true situation.
We also have a secret post to leave a message on Financial Samurai. Financial Samurai stayed up every day during the pandemic. It sure as heck will stay up during an invasion. However, in the event that all electronic communication is lost, we will leave little clues in the real world.
Related: Five Financial Observations Since The Start Of Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine
Where To Invest During World War III
The chance of World War III is pretty low, but it’s a good idea to prepare anyway. In the more likely event that our global politicians just play chicken with our lives, here are the financial moves I’ll be more eager to make.
1) Worst case scenario: hoard real assets
Money means nothing during a world war because governments will proceed to crank up the printing press to fund their army, thereby causing inflation. Sometimes there’s hyperinflation, as in the case with Germany post World War One.
After World War One, the German Mark fell from 4.2 marks to 8.91 marks per dollar. But paying for war reparations caused an economic collapse. The exchange rate rose to 4,200,000,000,000 marks per dollar by the end of 1923. The rate of inflation was 3,250,000% per month! By mid-1923 workers were being paid as often as three times a day. As soon as the workers got paid, they’d rush to buy some goods before their cash became worthless.
Real assets to consider hoarding include real estate, gold, silver, copper, oil, steel, cars, weapons, watches, matches, lighters, multiple pair of glasses, binoculars, pads, canned food, socks and shoes. Cryptocurrencies plummeted in value while gold surged the day Russia invade Ukraine.
Since cash becomes useless, it’s important to have real things to barter with. Unfortunately, the minimalist who rents and owns nothing will be screwed in a high inflation environment. Therefore, you need to be a maximalist who owns everything you want and need that money could once buy.
Related: The Inflation Interest Rate Paradox: Why You Must Continuously Invest
2) Bad scenario: buy the most sovereign bonds possible
Buy bonds from the country you think will come out a winner. At least buy bonds in a country that you believe will pay back its debt. The most sovereign country is usually the United States because we have the biggest army, the deepest financial system, and a world currency.
During the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the U.S. dollar gained against the world because the world found relative sanctuary in U.S. assets. This was even though many Americans were freaking out about whether they’d have a job the next week! When Russia invaded Ukraine, the USD strengthened and the Ruble weakened.
Remember, everything is relative when it comes to investing.
If the Chrysler building in Manhattan blows up tomorrow, stocks will tank and Treasury bonds will surge as investors flee riskier assets. Emerging market equities will probably sell off harder than the S&P 500 as well. Don’t forget the fear of contagion that wrecked the Asian economies in 1997.
I was loading up on municipal bonds after the 10-year bond yield hit 3% in 2018. Then the 10-year bond yield fell to about 0.5% in 2020 and is now back up to ~3.7%. 3-month-to-1-year Treasury bonds are looking extremely attractive right now at 4.8% – 4.94% guaranteed yields.
In a World War 3 and alien invasion scenario, the U.S. should emerge victorious. Therefore, the world will be buying U.S. Treasuries and U.S. real estate all day long.
3) A swift uncertain scenario: hoard cash and do nothing
If we’re just going through temporary uncertainty, then hoarding cash is just fine. Even though cash is losing purchasing power due to elevated inflation, it’s still better than losing actual money in the stock market. Most politicians are rational, therefore, they usually won’t go crazy with their aggression out of fear they’ll be overthrown.
Hoarding cash is the easiest and most logical move to make during times of uncertainty. Here are other capital preservation investments to consider.
Paying down debt without fully paying off debt is the wrong move because you’ll still have monthly payments. Liquidity is most valuable during times of uncertainty. The more liquid you are the more choices you have.
4) A positive long-term scenario: buy stocks and real estate
Based on history, buying the S&P 500 at the start of a war has usually proven to be profitable. Below is a chart from Fundstrat that shows how the S&P 500 performed after the Vietnam War, Gulf Wr, Afghanistan War, Iraq War, and Crimean Crisis.
The Afghanistan War period is something to be aware of since our current situation is similar. We’ve had a long bull market full of irrational exuberance. The “good thing” is, many of the most expensive growth stocks and speculative assets have already corrected by 50% – 80% within the past six months. Whereas, it took 2-3 years for similar types of securities to correct post the Dotcom bubble.
As for real estate, it is the favored asset class during wartime. When stocks are selling off during a war, real estate tends to hold its value as investors seek the safety of hard assets.
Once the war is over, real estate tends to recovery with the economy, often benefitting from heavy government infrastructure spending. If your property isn’t confiscated by the invading country, real estate is as close to a “head I win, tails you lose” scenario. I’m a buyer of private real estate funds.
It’s Always Worth Preparing For The Worst
If there is a World War III or an alien invasion, your number one goal is to survive until the chaos clears. Most wars don’t last longer than two years.
Think about World War III as round two of another global pandemic. We’ve already experienced two years of the pandemic. Hence, perhaps World War III won’t feel as long or as difficult if it happens.
It is incredibly sad an unnecessary war has begun. Lives will be lost. Livelihoods will be ruined. And so much economic progress and goodwill will disappear.
Nobody wins if World War III breaks out. We just have to gut it out until better days arrive.
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mike Mcloughlin says
I am disappointed by the “experts ” lack of mention of EMP’s.. One hydrogen bomb set off at 90K ft. will fry almost all electronic devices with a computer chip in them , in half of the country. There goes your computer held money, cars, radios, gas pumps, food chain,electricity, water pumps and on and on. The Gov’t has spent a long time and billions prepairing for the EMP disaster.
OK, the big guys start to ready for an all out war. Have you ever driven on I70, on a good ski day times 20? Do you think our mountain friends will sit for 1.5 million hysterical Boulderites, and 1/2 million liberals who want to use their Gold Cards to be taken careful. If I were a mountain man I’d use some of my mining exlosives to blow tunnels and bridges. Hell on earth!
Oh come on! Let’s be real here. The article states, this is a plan for the ones who don’t have the riches needed to escape?! . I would need the same amount of money to build this elaborate secret room. Not practical for everyone.
Rick h says
I don’t plan on running. I plan on fighting. I would rather go down in a blaze of glory defending my homeland than hiding like a rat in a bunker having others die for my country’s freedom. I will not be lead to the slaughter house after my left wing neighbors tell their communist friends invaders where I am.
Financial Samurai says
Right on! Thank you for your service comrade!
Thanks for the laugh. While I was laughing I was also reviewing your list and mentally checking off the things I’m prepared for versus not.
I’m liking the panic room in the middle of the ocean close to the tiny desert island. Perhaps on my next vacation I’ll look for it. While laughing, of course.
Same here….I am 50% ready but the pinky advice is good and I procrastinate too much on getting back into shape..May advance with my hide out under the stairs but still pondering that. Thanks for the great prep report….
Invest in a Seattle houseboat, one that can be relocated. Avoids issues with global warming sea rise and you get to live by the ocean. Not sure if it helps with WWIII exactly – but if there’s a motor, there’s maybe a possibility to leave the US? :)
Financial Samurai says
Good idea! But need lots of critical fuel. So maybe house sails are in order too.
Brandon James says
Sam, for once I can’t tell if this post is serious, or meant to be a mockery of “preppers.” For me, I see a lot of this stuff as common sense stuff that I was already doing before the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Things like being fit (I run a couple 5k’s a week), being able to defend myself and my family (weapons), having some extra food and water, alternate means of obtaining food (gardening/hunting), etc. but some things are a bit over the top, like an underground shelter. I have been looking at purchasing some real estate outside the city, though, as being in a large city in such a scenario would be the worst place to be. Worst case scenario with my extensive backpacking/wilderness experience, I could probably survive for months out in the public lands/national forests.
Financially, I haven’t really changed anything besides keeping a little extra cash and adding a few precious metals to the portfolio. All the regular stuff continues like maxing out Roth 401k and Roth IRA, and after-tax investing.
10 day water fast will clear up cholesterol. Cholesterol never an acute problem. Cholesterol meds almost killed me.
Hawaii was not a us state in 1941.
Miracles Happen says
I find this article and advice interesting and expensive. It suggests for humans to build hideout underground. At the same time to invest in real estate. But if I go underground for two years, who will look after my investments? I know there are many underground places around the world that you can hide, without having to spend a fortune in building it yourself. Even hospitals, and colleges are built with underground hiding areas. Be healthy and fit is a great recommendation, not just during war. Be safe pray daily and be hopeful to live in a peaceful world.
Fortunately for me, I’m 71 years old and won’t have to put up with this crap much longer.
Financial Samurai says
Hah! Love the attitude. Be well!
You will out live us all!!!
This article really touched a nerve. My father retired as a Brigadier in the Indian army, my uncle, also a Brigadier, was killed in one of the India-Pakistan wars. None of us, unless we fought or are family of those who were lost, can even imagine the horrors that wars inflict on us. I took this article as a way to help navigate my finances during and after a war, that’s all. Thank you to all of you, who have served.
Gold E says
As a former Navy operator who was wounded in war, all I can say about this article is, wow. And it’s not a good wow either.
You forgot to mention the biggest part of war – psychological preparation. You must be ready to kill your enemy and I guarantee most will not be ready to do whatever it takes to keep you and loved ones alive without having severe emotional regret or hesitation.
It takes years to physically and mentally prepare for war. And no paper money or other assets will keep you alive. The more you become a logical animal with survival skills, the longer you will live, although I’m not sure you will want to with WWIII. There are many horrible nuclear, biological and chemical weapons you have never heard of and never will experience twice.
Observing people hoard toilet paper in the first years of Covid should have made everyone aware that we “aren’t all in this together” and in time of true despair, we regress to our animal and survival instincts. Covid wasn’t even a shadow of the horror war is. My best advice to surviving is: stop being an emotional human; have a lot of ammo; be well trained on all weapons; have canned food and know how to clean water.
I really cannot say enough about the neophyte nature of this article. Not meant as a harsh criticism, but you have no idea of what it takes to kill or stay alive.
Financial Samurai says
I would think most people have no idea how to kill. Although, I have been in plenty of fights before and know where some of the break points are.
You don’t think getting fit to maximize your flight response and train yourself in hand to hand combat and the use of weapons is a good recommendation? Creating an underground secret room with canned food and water is also a good idea.
What is the difference between your recommendations and my recommendations?
Any suggestions on how to stop being an emotional human being? Thx
Gold E says
The differences between mine and yours is hope. If the war I think can occur will make even me question if staying alive is a good decision. I have little hope that mankind can withstand a nuclear, biological or chemical attack, or if you even want to be around for the aftermath.
Being fit – great. But you spoke of running 6 minute miles – are you really going to run that fast with your child or wife beside you, or are you going to abandon them or move at their pace? How far can you run in an underground bunker? Weight loss won’t be an issue as stress will shed weight off a person like you wouldn’t believe possible. And food and water scarcity or viability will be compromised.
You think being in a fight will prepare you for bullets and explosives? So you think you can get close enough to a professional killer and all you will do is strike him? He will show you the working end of a Randall knife or something that fires multiple projectiles in excess of 700 meters per sec long before you get close, and he is trained in Ju Jit Su or other martial arts, and he and his buddies kick each others butt for months or years with it just for fun. I have been in fights and I have been in war and there is absolutley no comparison. Even with all my training and experience, no two objectives are ever the same – just like investors to bring it back to your world.
Training, preparation and visualization. That is my answer to your last question. Don’t worry about becoming less human because if you live long enough, it will happen naturally. I have done horrible things to human beings and so I have regret. Like grind my teeth to nothing at night from regret and the pain from war. Have you ever spit teeth out at night or pulled a weapon on a shadow in the hallway? Physical violence is never more than a night’s memory away. Guns taste cold and oily, and knives are surgical sharp. In my first life I died in 1992 from war and most days I don’t feel human. That’s war. That’s human despair. Stick with money matters because war is unlike anything else. It is life and death, not profit and loss.
Financial Samurai says
I’m sorry you have to deal with the mental trauma of doing horrible things to other humans. One way to heal is to stay positive, help people in need to time and money. There’s no better feeling than helping others in need.
Unfortunately, this war affects our finances as well. So talking about it is appropriate. And if you don’t like the discussion, there’s always another place to read.
Thank you for your service. It is because of you that we are able to write freely and express ourselves without fear of being sentenced to 15 years in prison.
You obviously sit with a lot of pain. Please pay no mind to anyone who lacks empathy. Don’t take it personal, we have no idea of what you have been through, what you have done, what you have seen. I am sure it’s hard for you to see people talking about money during war time when if there is a WWIII, money will be the least of our worries. This war would be like nothing we have ever seen. The horrors of war a nuclear war is unimaginable to anyone of us. There will be no winners in WWIII. I am not even sure if there will be any life afterwards. I wish you peace, I wish peace for us all, I wish for world peace.
thanks for sharing. any advice helps.
Sometimes I wonder if emotionally charged people commenting, like you, even reads articles, or just projects your feelings into your comments?
You say to remove emotion and to be logical, yet your comment is full of emotion.
You write “ My best advice to surviving is: stop being an emotional human; have a lot of ammo; be well trained on all weapons; have canned food and know how to clean water.”
But the article has these recommendations. And no, people can’t just stop being emotional, as you have demonstrated.
Aneez Virani says
excellent reply. running a 6 min mile? losing weight? too many van dam movies. your advice was succinct n logical. for those who “want to live”: get proficient on firearms….learn how to clean water…..the time spent here will pay dividends
for those who dont want to be a part of the new world order….or for those who do not wish to be “baked to death” (think 911 trade towers where they chose jumping over burning)….try skid row…..get your hands on a lethal dose of fentanyl
That’s some pretty wild stuff you’re talking about, Sam. I once read an account of a European family during World War II who was able to preserve their wealth by converting their savings to gold and hiding it behind the casing of a door jamb for the duration of the war. I think I’m well-positioned for such an event sans the panic room. I think I’ll watch that movie tonight though
Belarus is already on Russia’s side (secretly). NATO isn’t going to fight back. Ukraine is not part of NATO. Nobody cares about Ukraine they are alone. There isn;t gonna be WW3.
Putin has now put nuclear weapons on alert as he is not happy about the sanctions. Get ready now. Don’t regret later.
Allison Khan says
Unless Russia rounds on the US for helping Ukraine… holding & keeping Russia’s gold. It really only takes one bomb.
Don’t forget to pick up an F-15 on the black market… it’s not a G-650, but you can DEFINITELY kick the butt of any MiG on the planet (Ref: 104-0 combat record). Can also be used to flee quickly (Mach 2.5+) should the need arise… Limitations: Single seat