Black Swans

Black Swans

            The economic crisis in 2007 through 2009 that was spawned by the housing market collapse has been referred to as a “black swan” event, an occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and is extremely difficult to predict. Every real estate investor must have a black swan emergency procedures manual as part of his or her playbook.

            One of my friends who owns and operates a very successful business in Houston, Texas had their business tested to the limit. Their emergency business continuity plan performed flawlessly. Customers continued to be served and satisfied, and employees continued to be able to perform their jobs despite the horrendous disruption and dislocation.

            As part of your playbook, do you have an emergency contingency plan? Have you made preparation for the continuity of your business should you have a major health event or other life-altering event? Will your business be able to continue operating? Do you have things in place to ensure that the income you need from your business will continue to be generated?

            What about in your personal life? Do you have things like a Last Will and Testament and other necessary estate documents such as a Living Will, a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, and a Financial Power of Attorney?

            If you use trusts, have you named at least one successor or alternate trustee for each of them? When you meet with your insurance agents or investment advisors, do you ask “what-if” questions about potential catastrophic events occurring in your life or business? Are these things part of your business playbook?

            I’m reminded of the 2014 college football season in which the Ohio State Buckeyes won the national championship with their third-string quarterback. They were able to do this because they had plays in the book that even the third-string quarterback could successfully execute against some of the best teams in the nation. Do you have such plays in your business playbook?