The Prepared Investor
How the Next Crisis Will Affect Your Financial Independence
One of the most common questions clients ask is, “What about the next crisis?” Whether it’s N. Korea, Russia, a terrorist attack, or the latest drama in the White House, people are worried about how to be financially prepared for the next catastrophe. The Prepared Investor explores how the public and the investing community react to crisis and convincingly demonstrates that readers can protect and grow their net worth in the face of calamity. Sign up to reserve your copy today!
It’s just a matter of time.
People know this as they pass newsstands filled with warnings about cybersecurity, political risk, and North Korea’s nuclear program. There’s a popular movement now in which extremists take drastic steps to be prepared for anything from a dirty bomb to an assault on our water supply. In May 2019, Pulitzer Prize winner Peggy Noonan wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “You can’t see all the world’s weapons and all its madness and not know that eventually we will face a terrible day or days… Maybe it will involve nuclear weapons…an attack on the grid, maybe bioterrorism. But it will be bad…” But what about those who aren’t going to bury gold in their backyard? They continue to invest their savings seeking financial independence and in the back of their minds they know the next crisis could strike tomorrow. Wall Street and its advisory force suggest “just hold on” because someday, the markets should recover. There is another way.
From a decorated West Point graduate and a highly successful financial insider comes an innovative approach to risk management based on a unique pattern of behavior that repeatedly occurs after our most trying times. In his writing debut, Christopher Manske breaks the established understanding of the way people invest during crisis. The Prepared Investor reveals a particular stock market pattern that consistently occurs as the result of the human reaction to crisis. Using facts from past crises, the book presents a clear explanation of what to expect financially in the next one and how investors can be prepared for it. Like Outliers showed a different way to look at success and Nine Lies About Work turned the establishment upside down on leadership and teams, Christopher Manske convincingly demonstrates there’s more to crisis investing than the typical Wall Street dogma everyone already knows. From this vantage point, readers will see what World War I and 9/11 have in common, the secret Napoleon knew that explains investors’ selling behavior, and how a few National Guardsmen sank the entire stock market. Readers who are concerned about their financial future will never invest the same way again.
Investors who feel worried about an impending catastrophe will learn effective strategies to protect and grow their wealth during calamity. Manske convincingly demonstrates that the unknown future is something we can comfortably prepare for today. The touching, human histories behind America’s most severe moments will resonate with anyone who feels inundated with news about threats from Russia, China, and even our own nation’s leadership. The Prepared Investor explains that when people’s powerful fear of the unknown collides with the temporary bonds that connect communities during a catastrophe, something both incredible and predictable happens. Ultimately, Manske describes the indomitable power of the human spirit while offering an encouraging and provocative reason to accept that history has not yet given us its last crisis.
President of the Texas School Venture Fund, Co-Founder of KIPP, and recipient of an honorary doctorate of Human Letters from Yale University
Editor-in-Chief for Lemon Theory, The Digital Magazine
Executive Vice President for Independent Bank
Dr. Bob Stecker
Elder-in-Residence and subject of Life Lessons from the Oldest & Wisest, by David Romanelli
Investment Advisor and Certified Financial Planner
Phyllis Urman-Klein, PhD
Co-author of The Last Impresario, A Theatrical Journey from Transylvania to Toscana with author/theatre producer Peter Klein, founder of Living Arts, which has sold millions of tickets in 25 different countries
Thais Amaral Tellawi
Managing Partner for the AT Law Firm
Investment Advisor and Certified Financial Planner
Former Managing Editor for the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association website (with 1.2 million views/month) and author of the upcoming novel Sea of Air
Susan L. Yarbrough
Retired Federal Judge and author of Benchpressed
West Point graduate, former Air Force officer, and former COO of 180 Medical which he helped sell to Cortec in the largest private transaction in the U.S. in 2009
Former Predator Drone Pilot in the U.S. Air Force and author of the Las Vegas drone pilot exposé, Fake Plastic Love
Managing Partner at Nowowiejski Law Firm
CEO of Redstone Business Holdings and Owner of the Jason Jimenez Insurance Agency
CEO of Paysphere Payroll
Executive Producer/Writer for Grizzly Films, and author of the upcoming book, Try Not to Annoy the Kangaroo
David R. Brewer
Managing Partner at the Brewer Law Firm, President of Fidelity National Title, Founding Member of the Industry Master’s Forum, and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Princeton University
Max C. Lummis
Principal Consultant at LCS Forensic Accounting & Advisory
Principle Designer at Pamela Hope Designs
Dr. Steven Kaufman
CEO of Zeus Lending, President of New York Mutual, Founder of the Fanatical Change Foundation, and graduate of the Harvard Business School
Charles G. Fertitta, Jr
Principal & Director at Colliers International
About Christopher Manske
Christopher Manske owns one of the largest investment firms in Houston, managing half a billion dollars for individuals and institutions all over the world. Over his twenty-year investing career, he spent two of them as the Lead Financial Advisor to the University of Texas Employee Assistance Provider where he served a public and private population of over 100,000 people. Manske spent over a decade with Merrill Lynch where he was often recognized in the top fraction of 1% of financial advisors. He was selected to help train thousands of financial advisors across the country so they could better build a world class wealth management practice within the Merrill Lynch platform. Manske graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1995 and served in the Army for six years. After leaving the military, he did his post-graduate work at Rice University and today is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ leading a disciplined and well-credentialed team providing sophisticated wealth management and individualized investment advice.
I’m really excited to attend the writer’s conference later this week in Seattle. It’s put on by the PNWA –…
A big thank you to Randy Peyser of Author One Stop who represented my book, The Prepared Investor, at BookExpo…
So proud to be a client of FAL Enterprises – they are an innovative literary agency led by Francesca Minerva…
A big thank you to Tyler Wagner of Authors Unite – he was referred to me by Randy Peyser of…
Why did you write the book?
The idea of this book was born from my military experience where threatening situations typically caused unprepared people to panic, react instinctually instead of logically, and ultimately make poor decisions. Readers will recognize the natural pattern that occurs in the stock market as investors make irrational choices that are part of a basic instinctual response to major crisis. Overall, I was inspired to write this book because my team and I kept getting similar questions from clients all over the United States. “If there’s a terrorist attack, how will my portfolio do?” “What about my financial independence if the President gets us involved in a war?” “I know peace won’t last forever… something bad is going to happen. You’re my investment advisor. Are we ready for that?”
How long is this book?
It’s approximately 61,000 words with about 55 charts or graphs. That’s typically about 240 pages.
Can I see the table of contents?
These things can change, but for now, here’s where we stand…
- CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS A CRISIS? WORLD WAR I
- CHAPTER 2: IS XENOPHOBIA PATRIOTISM? WORLD WAR II
- CHAPTER 3: DOES SIZE MATTER? THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS
- CHAPTER 4: WHO CARES ABOUT EXPERIENCE? THE ASSASSINATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY
- CHAPTER 5: CAN’T WE ALL AGREE? THE VIETNAM WAR
- CHAPTER 6: WHEN IS HYSTERIA RATIONAL? THE KENT STATE SHOOTING
- CHAPTER 7: ARE THERE SOLDIERS AT MY DOOR? THE GULF WAR
- CHAPTER 8: IS THIS THE SAME OLD CRISIS WE’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE? 9/11
- CHAPTER 9: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION? THE NEXT CRISIS
- EXHIBIT A: THE NOVEMBER 27TH 1941 WAR WARNING
- EXHIBIT B: Q&A WITH THE AUTHOR AND RESEARCHERS
Who is your agent?
At this time, there are a few agents who have expressed interest and are reviewing the project. A special thanks to Diane Stockwell, Francesca Minerva, and Sharon Pelletier who are considering representing the book. Please check back soon for more information!
Who is publishing the book?
The process typically would be to allow the author’s agent to pitch the project to publishers. However, because of networking at literary conferences, a number of editors with major publishing houses (such as Penguin Random House and St. Martin’s Press) have requested to see the manuscript and are currently reviewing it. Please check back soon for more information!
When can I buy it and read it?
Check back often for when this launch date gets announced!
Do you have a reading or signing scheduled in the near future?
Check back often because events like these are sure to be fun opportunities to go behind the scenes with the book and meet some interesting new friends.
How can I get my book autographed?
There will be occasional opportunities to meet the author and get your book signed. Check back often so you don’t miss a chance to go behind the scenes with the book and meet some interesting new friends.
Do you want to hear from your readers?
Absolutely! That’s a big part of why I wrote the book! You can reach out by filling out this contact form. Looking forward to hearing from you!
So far, is there anyone you’d like to say thank you to?
I’ve had so much help along the way that saying thank you properly is a daunting task. Please come back to this site often as I’m sure my thank you list is going to grow on a regular basis.
For now, I offer my sincere gratitude to the following people:
- My beta readers who helped me revise my first rough draft manuscript – Robert Manske, Elisa Fierro, and above all, Amber Gruen
- Randy Peyser who represented my project at Book Expo in New York and help create interest for it with Francesca Minerva, Linda Langton, and Marilyn Allen
- Meghan Stevenson, an excellent nonfiction editor who helped me tighten up my proposal and the first few chapters of the book
- All the individuals who agreed to endorse the book
- Lisa and Jordan who both did an enormous amount of research on this project and without whom the book would not exist
- Jon Schroeder who helped me get the website up to give the book a proper home on the internet
- Tim Tomlinson who runs a topnotch program in New York and helped me to pitch my project to various editors and agents
- All the authors I met at the New York Writer’s Workshop in April 2019 who inspired me to keep on pushing for that elusive published book
- The industry insiders, like Andy Ross, who volunteered to teach at the February 2019 San Francisco Writer’s Conference taking time from their life to offer meaningful guidance and make publishing easier since writing is already hard enough
- Gordon Warnock whose willingness to participate in a charity fundraiser paired us up and ultimately, he provided me some extremely insightful comments regarding my book for which I’m very grateful
- Both my family at home and my family at work who have supported me over the years on this project
- As always, a big thank you to my firm’s clients and industry partners who help give my life purpose.
Who should buy this book?
The primary market is worried investors. According to the Wall Street Journal, “armchair preppers” are not the extremists building bunkers in the backyard. Rather, they are worried about “being prepared for sudden disasters” and there are almost 4 million of these people willing to pay $175 to $4,995 for a “go bag” containing tools, books, and luxurious supplies. An entire industry is springing up to satisfy these armchair preppers. For example, Preppi, a New York-based start-up, sells a $5,000 go bag with night vision goggles and caviar. Behind this microtrend, there’s a much larger group of forward-thinking people with sincere worries about war with North Korea, a terrorist attack on our electrical grid, or just the latest political crisis originating from the White House.
As a secondary market, there’s been a lot of interest from client-facing finance professionals. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately three million adult business professionals who sell insurance, advise on investments, or offer loans. The Prepared Investor comprehensively answers a question they deal with regularly.
Lastly, members of the Financially Independent Retire Early Movement (FIRE) have a serious focus on this topic. According to the 2015 U.S. Census data, there are over 75 million millennials. BlackRock’s Global Investor Pulse found that 59% of them are saving for the future and the majority of these savers identify themselves as part of the FIRE movement. “FIRE isn’t strictly a millennial phenomenon,” says Todd Wasserman in Forbes, because in 2018 the Harris Poll concluded that over a quarter of Americans aged 45 and older are aware of the FIRE concept.
I have a question that’s not listed here. How can I get an answer?
We’d love to hear from you. You can reach out by filling out this contact form. We might even add your question to this list!
How did you get all of the daily information on each of the securities cited in this book?
For the later years, we used established databases. It was the earlier years that were the most difficult. The difficulty mostly lay in the fact that many news sources were so difficult to read in whatever format the libraries and research centers held. The most useful records were daily periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Can you describe some of the more interesting or difficult parts of the project?
At the start of the project, there was an enormous amount of back-and-forth discussion among the team because we were trying to determine what data could actually be found and whether or not it would be useful to the thesis. There was no manual telling us how to go about it and we had to establish a useful process all on our own. We were also, at times, personally overwhelmed by the amount of really negative things in recent history. For example, the Japanese treatment of the Chinese during World War II horrified us deeply.
How long did it take to write the book?
I started working on the idea in 2012 and spent about three years from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2018 writing, researching, and revising. I had two researchers helping me and for one of them it was almost a full-time job for nearly a year. This project gave us all a much deeper respect for the work behind each of the books we see when we walk down a bookstore aisle.
How is this book different from other financial self-help books?
Browsing through the financial section in any American bookstore, there is always a large section of books with ideas for how to invest or different suggestions on what to buy to make more money. There is an unfortunate pattern amongst them all in that almost every single self-help financial book makes two assumptions that fail to address the needs of actual investment portfolios in the real world. Whether reading about how to buy the latest interesting trend, such as Bitcoin, or getting involved in something specific like real estate investment trusts, these two flawed assumptions are present.
The first flaw is that the typical book’s idea can be put to use immediately. Most financial books put forward an idea that supposedly can be used at any point in the market cycle, so it doesn’t matter when readers buy the book. “Just buy the book and start making money as soon as possible,” they claim. Typically, these “incredible” strategies and techniques are available to execute as soon as the reader finishes the book and the author generally takes the point of view that his/her method will universally reward all investors who participate, regardless of when the reader buys the book.
The second assumption commonly found in the financial aisle of the bookstore is that the reader has some liquid money ready to invest. This flawed assumption means the reader has no plan, no professional advisor, no idea what to do with these available funds. Usually, the writer offers a solution that will turn that special pot of cash into more wealth. “Just follow these twelve steps,” or “Set up orders in this particular way,” and the money (which was just sitting there until the reader picked up that book) will grow in size.
Those two basic, and highly flawed, assumptions have no place here. The Prepared Investor assumes readers have a portfolio and wish to take definitive steps to protect and grow it in the face of an uncertain future. Additionally, The Prepared Investor makes clear how to be ready for the next opportunity instead of claiming that the opportunity is always there every day.
What other books did you draw inspiration from?
Each of these titles influenced me to some degree and I admire the authors greatly. In each case, their book rests on the idea that there’s serious risk in the modern world that touches everyone. Whether it’s political, technological, or systemic, readers must contend with the fact that they are out of control and tomorrow could begin with the next crisis. I find it interesting that none of these books offer advice for all the prudent, forward-thinking people who are saving their money and trying to be financially prepared for that same uncertain future. The Prepared Investor convincingly addresses this basic question and gives readers a provocative and encouraging reason to calmly accept that history has not offered its last crisis.
Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity, by Condoleezza Rice and Amy B. Zegart (Twelve 2018). Similar to Manske’s book, Condoleezza Rice and Amy B. Zegart use vignette-style storytelling coupled with well-researched details to address the reader’s worry about an uncertain future. Within Political Risk, the problems stem from the legal and regulatory environment where Manske’s are major crises such as actual war or acts of terrorism. Rice and Zegart do an excellent job expanding the definition of “political risk” to match with the current real world in much the same way that Manske expands the definition of “crisis” to include all the modern possibilities and current worries. Political Risk persuasively suggests that readers can guide their companies “to manage the risks generated by this widening array of global political actors” in the same way that Manske suggests readers can “protect and grow their portfolio in the face of certain instability.”
Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, by Adam Tooze (Viking 2018). Adam Tooze writes an intellectual history book that culminates in the question, “What now are the prospects for a liberal, stable, and coherent world order?” The Prepared Investor accepts what Tooze’s readers already know and explores the logical follow-up question: “Since I know the future is not going to be stable, how can I best maintain my financial independence?”
The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and The Future of Everything, by Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna (St. Martin’s Press 2018). Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna address worries about big banks, ID and credit card fraud, and lack of access to the global economy in much the same way that Manske addresses concern about the next major crisis. The Truth Machine suggests blockchain technology can empower people and institutions just like The Prepared Investor suggests the collective human reaction to crisis permits individuals and institutions to protect and grow their investment assets in the face of devastating catastrophe.
Borrowed Time: Two Centuries of Booms, Busts, and Bailouts at Citi, by James Freeman and Vern McKinley (Harper Business 2018). James Freeman and Vern McKinley offer a well-researched historical journey for readers who are worried that our economy is at risk due to “too big to fail.” Manske attracts these readers as well, but “too big to fail” is yesterday’s worry whereas The Prepared Investor helps to address tomorrow’s concern. Borrowed Time suggests that less regulation may be safer overall because it would discourage political insiders from recklessly running companies with the expectation that the government will pay for their mistakes. Unfortunately, Borrowed Time doesn’t offer specific ideas about how that new, less burdensome regulation should look. Manske suggests investors can perform well in spite of the next major crisis and offers practical advice on how to specifically accomplish that.
Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World, by Marc Goodman (Anchor 2016). Like Manske, Marc Goodman uses vignettes and well-researched details to address the reader’s worry about a future problem. With Future Crimes, the problems are all strictly from a technological point of view whereas The Prepared Investor offers a broader scope to better capture what readers worry about most. Goodman suggests his readers can “defeat the myriad threats that await us” while Manske convinces readers there’s a way to invest during the next crisis that will “protect and grow their portfolio.”