Safe-Haven Assets Rise Amid War in Middle East

Written By Alexander Boulden

Updated February 13, 2024

Dear Reader,

The images and videos circulating online of the attacks in Israel and the Gaza Strip are troubling, to say the least.

Here’s what we know…

Hamas fighters infiltrated Israel on Saturday by land, air, and sea. They launched missiles and rockets and even paraglided into several parts of the country in the middle of a big Jewish holiday.

Defenses were light and people weren’t expecting an attack of such scale, which is why it was so deadly.

Nearly 1,000 people were killed in the initial attack by Hamas and hundreds were taken hostage in what is now being called the worst attack on Israel ever.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately declared war on Gaza. In ongoing retaliatory attacks, Israel has killed 700 people so far, many of whom were Palestinian civilians.

According to Al Jazeera, the U.N. commission said it is “gravely concerned with Israel’s latest attack on Gaza and Israel’s announcement of a complete siege on Gaza involving the withholding of water, food, electricity, and fuel, which will undoubtedly cost civilian lives and constitutes collective punishment.”

As always with war, it’s the innocent who suffer greatly.

But there’s something deeper going on here that could have far-reaching implications.

According to NPR reporting, Hamas is suspected to have gotten help from Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group, in organizing the attacks. But that group also has strong ties to Iranian-backed terrorist groups.

So the fear is that it this could create a spillover effect

It’s caused investors to rethink their bets.

Gold perked up for the first time in months, signaling investors are returning to safe-haven assets.

And unsurprisingly, oil prices spiked again.

And the U.S. is already being tapped to help clean up the mess.

Sound familiar?

History tells us it never ends well…

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, WWI officially came to an end.

By the time the "War to End All Wars" was over, 20 million people had lost their lives.

But fighting continued for nearly six hours after German, British, and French bureaucrats spilled their ink on the armistice. Nearly 3,000 men died on the final day of the Great War, surpassing the daily average deaths.

American forces, in particular a regiment known as “Baltimore’s Own” (as most of the men hailed from Baltimore), were ordered to continue fighting right up to the last minute.

The last “official” recorded American death was Private Henry Gunther, who charged a German machine gun nest just minutes before 11 a.m. Perhaps blinded by rage over a demotion and his fiancé calling off their marriage, he ignored the pleas from Americans and Germans telling him to stop.  As he charged the Germans with a bayonet, he was struck down.

All of the senseless fighting to gain just inches of ground…

The orders to kill from on high…

The false narratives and propaganda pushed on the public to convince them the war was necessary…

It’ll behoove us all to take some lessons from the Great War, especially with the Russia-Ukraine war in full swing and now another war in the Middle East.

I, Western Ghost

I recently saw the Netflix special All Quiet on the Western Front, which should be required watching for the entire world right now.

The anti-war message was so powerful that it made me go back and dust off my old copy of the namesake 1928 novel by Erich Remarque.

At first criticized as anti-war propaganda — it was banned by the Nazis in the 1930s — it’s since become the bestselling German book of all time, selling over 20 million copies worldwide. It touches on three important themes.

First, in order to survive war, men must become animals. The training and demoralization of the soldier creates an instinctual, animalistic man, as killing becomes second nature. When protagonist Paul Bäumer and his best friend, Kat, are discussing the war, Kat explains, "For instance, if you train a dog to eat potatoes and then afterward put a piece of meat in front of him, he’ll snap at it. It’s his nature." Kat goes on to say that they've been given too much power as soldiers. Back home, civilians can't kill or demoralize others so freely as they can on the Western Front.

Second, even those who survive the war return home as mere shells of their former selves. Paul comes to realize that even if he survives the war, his life is over. After Paul's comrades discuss what they'll do after the war, Paul is overcome with melancholy and thinks, "We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were 18 and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer; we believe in the war." War destroys everything, and we see this theme play out again when Paul kills a French soldier in a foxhole and watches as he slowly dies. He finds a photograph of the dead soldier's family in his pocket and sees the collateral damage that war creates.

Finally, in war, only a few power-hungry men decide the fate of millions. While men die muddy, cold, and hungry in the trenches, the German general sits high in his castle, eating fatty meats and drinking wine, a roaring fire crackling in the background. In the novel, when the Kaiser visits the front lines, the men are disenchanted by his meek demeanor and realize that they've all been sacrificed only so a few old men could have their names written in the history books.

We need to remember that human life should be cherished, not carelessly thrown around like pieces in a game of Risk.

And war is not the answer, which is why it's so hard to watch what's playing out around the world today.

It’s times like these that I urge you to follow my colleague Jason Simpkins, who tracks military and defense companies.

He says it’s investing malpractice not to have exposure to the industry.

It’s exactly why he runs a trading service that focuses squarely on the defense and intelligence technologies that keeps us safe here at home.

His latest investment report details the interplay between AI and military equipment.

It's a fascinating read.

Stay frosty,

Alexander Boulden
Editor, Wealth Daily

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After Alexander’s passion for economics and investing drew him to one of the largest financial publishers in the world, where he rubbed elbows with former Chicago Board Options Exchange floor traders, Wall Street hedge fund managers, and International Monetary Fund analysts, he decided to take up the pen and guide others through this new age of investing.

Alexander is the investment director of Insider Stakeout — a weekly investment advisory service dedicated to tracking the smartest money on the planet so that his readers can achieve life-altering, market-beating returns. He also serves at the managing editor for R.I.C.H. Report, a comprehensive service that uses the highest-quality investment research and strategies that guides its members in growing their wealth on top of preserving it.

Check out his editor’s page here.

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