In a sense, if a problem is truly "unexpected," one cannot prepare for it. Instead, to prepare for problems, one must learn to expect them. The first step in doing so is to have a firm grasp of history and assume that things which have happened in the past may...
In a sense, if a problem is truly "unexpected," one cannot prepare for it. Instead, to prepare for problems, one must learn to expect them. The first step in doing so is to have a firm grasp of history and assume that things which have happened in the past may well happen again in the future.
For example, waves of populism, xenophobia, and civic unrest are common sociocultural phenomena which have happened in the past. They can lead to such things as protectionism, including high tariffs and other barriers to trade, and nationalization of industries. While one cannot predict precisely when such events will occur, one can hire political scientists and other experts to monitor trends and have contingency plans in place. For example, the United States in 2018 is a place which is in the middle of a wave of populism with an uncertain regulatory environment and in the midst of imposing various tariffs and other forms of protectionism. Global companies might want to reduce exposure to the US market in response.
For financial forces, one should look at historic trends. For example, if stock markets are overvalued and frothy compared to historic levels of price-earnings ratios, one should be careful about investing and IPOs. If interest rates are at an historic low or a particular currency is overvalued, one should anticipate that these will change. The same is true of prices of commodities and other inputs to many businesses. Many companies hedge against such imbalances with options, currency hedges, and futures contracts which lessen the impact of volatility.