How to Trade the End of the World

Any Opie worthy of the name exists to turn a profit and use that profit to help alleviate suffering in the world. That’s our deal. We’re card-carrying Kiva lenders, rabid Whole Foods shoppers, and proud (well, smug) Prius owners.

Now that's smokin' performance! Source: Yahoo! Finance

We also know that we can generate great alpha as a direct result of our planet’s last gasps. As open-minded capitalists, we seize these opportunities to make a buck and deploy it to the greater good, after of course buffeting our cadre of organic Egyptian cotton sheets, designer compost containers, and industrial-grade kitchen gadgets. You can’t resist my splendid smoothies.

How to party (financially) like it’s 2012:

  1. The short-euro, long-yen, long-dollar, double-short-Iceland trade. Here we’re ingeniously mixing natural disasters and socioeconomic upheaval into a delicious cocktail of Greenbacks.
  2. Long tobacco companies. They make legal, addictive, price-inelastic products, a recipe for riches. You can pay outrageous management fees to invest with green mutual funds, or you can make money with what’s worked for decades despite steadily dying customers and ever-increasing social stigma and government regulation (see chart). Might I suggest a mini-portfolio of 5% clean energy funds, 95% tobacco company stocks? That way you can send your kids to Exeter and sleep at night.
  3. Short insurance stocks, long rowboat stocks. Although they sometimes refuse to pay beleaguered policyholders, insurance companies generally get crushed by natural disasters, which seem to be happening with troubling frequency these days. Rowboats help us get around when cities flood and planes can’t fly, and Charon will have to stock up to get us all where we’re going when the proverbial shit hits the Dyson air multiplier (by the way, that thing’s awesome—short fan companies).
  4. Super-long Halliburton. You know these evil bastards will find a way to secure a multibillion-dollar contract to clear excess oil from the Gulf and “humanely” pound unruly Greek protestors into submission. Never bet against well-connected, corrupt douchebags. They run the planet.

While I am a professional, my lawyers remind me to remind you not to consider this investment advice and always wear clean underwear, washed of course in eco-friendly, low-suds natural detergent.

I think Halliburton makes a good one.

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