- Published on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 13:46
- Written by Andrew Snyder, Editorial Director, Inside Investing Daily
- Hits: 519
It is a historic day, worthy of reflection and honor. But we can't ever stop looking ahead and searching for the next world-changing event.
The message on this day 11 years ago was clear. Our lives would never be the same. We all knew things would change -- they had to. But none of us knew what it would look like.
Today, all of the original perpetrators have either been shot or blown up or are behind bars. As far as the blind eye of justice is concerned, payback has been served.
But things are still changing.
In fact, in many ways, they're changing faster today than they were a decade ago.
Nobody -- especially our politicians -- wants to be caught again with that sort of surprise. That's what stands out the most about that crisp late-summer morning. The scene on TV played out like a movie trailer -- a story with an incredibly twisted plot.
But the commercial never ended.
It only got more twisted... more diabolical... and far deadlier.
With one plane in a building, we thought it was a tragic accident. It would have captured headlines for a day or two -- but it wasn't something our country would mourn for the next decade and beyond.
With a second plane, though, things changed.
The surprise of the attack cut through the nation. How could it happen? These guys are supposed to blow up vans and hold the occasional plane hostage... not destroy iconic towers with jet-fueled missiles.
But then we got another surprise. A third plane.
And then a fourth.
Until that second plane made impact, our national psyche naturally linked the catastrophe to some sort of accident. It was our default logic.
But as soon it was clear this was no simple mishap, our wiring changed. Now we're trained to declare "terrorism" before "accident."
Remember the blackout the broiled the East Coast in August 2003? Our first thoughts... terrorism.
Even the earthquake that shook the ground under the nation's capital last year... ask anybody who felt the violent tremor, and they'll likely admit their first thoughts weren't of a natural phenomenon.
It is proof we are different now. We'll never quite think the same way as we did on Sept. 10, 2001.
As a civilization, the new psyche is unhealthy. It's not normal to treat your neighbors like killers before patting them down, checking their fingerprints and reviewing their criminal background.
By that measure, we lost the war on terrorism (it's not all about the body count). For investors, though, there's a lesson to be learned in the tragedy.
Some say the events of 2008 were the investing world's Sept. 11.
I say no... that crash was only a minor "attack." It was like the bombing in the Trade Center parking garage in 1993 -- deadly, but nothing, compared with the catastrophe to come.
I'd love to be able to claim to know what the big event will be or when it will occur. But I don't. Nobody knows.
Then again, nobody had any clue the Twin Towers would come crumbling down so easily -- not even Osama himself planned for that.
We have some clues about where our economy is likely to crack. We know debt will play an issue. Inflation is likely to play a role, as well. I bet there's a crook or a bankster involved, too. But other than that, your guess is as good as mine.
Above all else, today is a day to reflect. It's our duty to remember those who lost their lives and sacrificed everything they could.
It's also a day to remember that a surprise may be lurking behind every sunrise, no matter how peaceful the morning light.
And, most importantly, it's a day to prepare. It's a time to take action to ensure you are never a victim.
As investors, our attack is coming. It may not be tomorrow or even next year... but it's heading our way. When it strikes, our world and your wealth will never be the same.