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Black Swan Investment events are natural and man-made situations that can happen out of the blue causing investment markets to lose between 10% – 80% for a period of time. These events can reshape economies worldwide for a period of time.  Some examples of Black Swan events are:

  • Major Volcano Eruption (I.e. Mt. Rainier, Yellowstone)
  • Tsunamis (Japan’s event or worse)
  • Earthquakes (Major quake on the Pacific Coast or Japan)
  • Collapse of the Greek, French or Italian economies.
  • Category 5 hurricane on the Florida coast. Or at New Orleans/Texas affecting gasoline production.
  • Nuclear Terrorist Attack anywhere.
  • Loss of a major city from a Terrorist Attack.
  • A significant Pandemic in the US (not if but when according to the CDC.)
  • Loss of the gasoline pipeline from Texas to the Carolinas and Georgia.

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Case Study used: After 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina

High Beta Stock Categories After a Black Swan Event

  • Insurance broker segment: Down sharply
  • Semi-conductors: Down
  • Most other segments (other than those below): Down

Negative Beta Reactions to Black Swan Event

  • Oil & gas: Smaller cap companies dramatically increased
  • Utilities: Up 11.2% post-Katrina, but averaged  (-14.5%) from 2000-2005
  • Home improvement: Spiked
  • Aerospace & defense: Spiked after 9/11
  • Air Freight & Logistics: Spiked
  • Biotech: Spiked
  • Building Products: Spiked
  • Commodity chemicals: Increased
  • Construction Materials
  • Gold: Increased
  • Construction & Engineering: Spiked
  • IT: Went up 1% After Katrina then averaged (-17.1%)
  • Healthcare: Went up 6% After Katrina but then averaged (-4.7%) from 2000 – 2005

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By Mike Dunn – Copyright 2011 – All rights reserved

Mike Dunn

As a thought leader in Internet-related finance, Dunn has been at the forefront of recognizing and acting on game-changing strategies. He melds his expertise in sales and finance in order to quantify return on investment for what Nassim Taleb termed Black Swan Events. Dunn’s current project, Mutual Fund Marketing Services, focuses on the wealth protection financial services market.