How To Prepare For World War III: Survival And Money Advice

So you’ve survived the pandemic. Congrats! Now there’s potentially World War III to deal with. If World War III does happen one day, we should learn how to prepare now!

Once a dirty bomb hits the mainland, 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 to New Zealand? Are we commoners screwed? Heck no!

We must stand our ground and fight for our freedom as the ungodly rich flee like our great nation! If we emerge victorious, then we can rebuild our own empires and permanently ban those who left us when we needed their resources the most.

How To Prepare For World War III

Let’s hope we have peace on Earth or at least peace in a protected America. International unrest seems to be rising to new heights. Tensions are high and patience has worn thin.

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. 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!

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. The least fit will die first!

Ideal Weight Chart For Women
Ideal Weight Chart For Women
Ideal Weight Chart For Men - Get in shape for World War III
Ideal Weight Chart For Men

2) Reinforce your secret room (panic room). 

Do you remember watching Wes Craven’s 1991 film, The People Under The Stairs? It’s as good 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.

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.

Ideal panic room
A wonderful panic room 13 feet below the ground with private keycard access.
Panic Room Layout
An efficient secret room that can house 6 uncomfortably
Panic room ventilation
Ventilation is huge in case your enemies plan to smoke you out
Panic Room in the ocean
Probably the best secret room entrance in the world

3) Train in hand-to-hand combat and 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! Time for everyone to brush up and get fierce!

Weapons for zombie apocalypse, world war III

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 people.

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.

You don’t want to be that dumbass who connects over LinkedIn or sends an e-mail out of the blue when you just lost your job or want 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 since 2009, 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 place to leave a message on the internet. In the event that all electronic communication is lost, we will leave little clues in the real world.

Finally, I will leave clues on Financial Samurai about my whereabouts. The clues will be on the homepage somewhere on the sidebar or in the footer.

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 with the exchange rate rising 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 (yes, even cars), weapons, watches, matches, lighters, multiple pair of glasses, binoculars, pads, canned food, socks and shoes.

Depending on how bad things get, you want to own all the assets that money needs to buy for you to live a comfortable life. Since cash becomes useless, it’s important to have real things to barter with. The minimalist who rents and owns nothing will be screwed in a high inflation environment.

Hyper-inflation post world war I, children playing with bricks of cash
Kids piling up bricks of cash in Germany due to hyper-inflation

Related: The Inflation Interest Rate Paradox: Why You Must Continuously Invest

2) Bad scenario: buy the most sovereign bonds possible

If things don’t get too bad, then consider buying 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 even though many Americans were freaking out about whether they’d have a job the next week! 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 2%. Bonds are once again getting more attractive.

In a World War Three scenario, the U.S. should emerge victorious. Therefore, the world should be buying U.S. Treasuries and U.S. real estate all day long.

Buy bonds for capital preservation in case of World War III

3) Uncertain scenario: hoard cash

If we’re just going through temporary uncertainty before we clearly know the devil, then it’s best not to take excess risk. Most politicians are rational, therefore, they can’t go crazy with their policies out of fear they’ll be overthrown.

Hoarding cash is the easiest and most logical move to make during times of uncertainty. Paying down debt without fully paying off debt is the wrong move. Liquidity is most valuable during times of uncertainty. The more liquid you are the more choices you have.

Hoarding cash is not great when inflation is high. However, losing lots of money in the stock market is worse. The more cash you have, the better you will feel during situations like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

4) Long-term scenario: buy stocks

Based on history, buying the S&P 500 at the start of a war has proven to be very 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 quite 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.

How stocks have performed during each previous war in history

It’s Always Worth Preparing For The Worst

If there is a World War III, 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 a global pandemic round two. We’ve already experienced two years of the pandemic. Hence, perhaps World War III won’t feel as long.

Readers, how are you preparing for World War III? Are you planning on buying stocks after a war starts?

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