The Fog of War

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War is a good analogy for the financial struggle facing most Americans because it really gets to the core of what’s going on in the global economy.  Carl Von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a military theorist whose writings probed deeply into the philosophy of human warfare.

Von Clausewitz stressed the diverse factors and unexpected developments unfolding under the “fog of war”.  This uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by combatants in battle is similar to what happens on the economic battlefield.  There is uncertainty in one’s own capability and in the capability and intent of your adversaries.  Commanders must make quick, stressful decisions in the face of dubious, incomplete and often false information.  Professional investment and estate planning advice permits you to make better decisions, but it’s always under the fog of war.

Government is not your friend; it’s your adversary.  Von Cluasewitz believed that war is the continuation of politics by other means.  Voters and political operatives are economic combatants using government as a weapon.  Fortunately, you are a safe distance away from the battlefront.  You are in a good, secure position thanks to your level of wealth, awareness and willingness to deploy assets for professional advice. Your Estate Planning War Chest should contain maximum situational awareness. The war analogy stresses how vital it is for you (or your advisors) to see, understand and prepare for what’s really happening.  I’m extraordinarily serious about keeping my clients and family secure.  It’s parallel to a life and death combat struggle.  Coercive allocation of economic resources is not nice; it’s war.  As Von Clausewitz warned, “the character of battle is slaughter, and its price is blood”.

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