Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alternate Future Financial Planning

These are uncertain times. Times when financial models have been exposed as wildly inaccurate and missing crucial elements that can tip the scales of financial stability from solvency to utter ruin. In trying to develop accurate financial models, we are crippled by what we do not know and what we haven't accounted for.

But what if we knew the future? What if we knew world financial trends before they occurred and could adjust our investments accordingly?

In comics, we frequently do. We think. The problem in comic books is not knowing the future. It's knowing too much about the future. In fact so much is known about the future and its possible iterations that investors will likely be more confused about what to do than if they only knew about the present.

Let's take one of the X-Men for example. Warren Worthington has been to the future before. He knows what will happen in the next 20-30 years. Maybe...

You see, Warren and his X-Men have been around the block enough times to know that the futures that they have been to may or may not occur. It's possible that in 20-30 years all the heroes may be dead or underground and the Red Skull may be running the United States. In which case Warren should now start investing in Nazi-themed furniture and vehicles. He should also invest in an admantium bodysuit to protect him from brainwashed colleagues so he could recoup his investments. However, its also possible that the future may be one where all continents except North America have been decimated (thank you very much Bishop). In this case Warren should spend money investing in bunkers and guns that can be easily used by sentient roach soldiers. So with this knowledge Warren should likely try to hedge his bets while avoiding the dozens of futures where he is incinerated by Sentinels.

So while its been established that comic book characters do know the future, it's clear that the future is highly variable. In one incarnation you're dead, in another you're a cyborg leading a rebellion with your daughter Ruby while watching Multiple Man engage in a quasi-pedophilic relationship with a girl who "knows things" (I don't want to think about the implications of that comment). There's no certainty, but at least you know some possible outcomes that you can plan and predict for.

But the level of uncertainly still exists. Bruce Wayne needs to think about whether he will be living in the future where Superman is a tool of the U.S. government or where Superman is farming in radioactive Kansas. These kinds of things really affect a portfolio.


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