Some new investment vehicles — called "black swan funds" — are designed to go up in value if there is an economic collapse. They are designed to protect against what some investment professionals are calling "tail risk" (basically meaning the economy going into some sort of disastrous tail spin).
Not all analysts are sold on this new kind of costly protection (similar to buying insurance). There is an excellent discussion of this new type of investment product in a front page New York Times article written by Azam Ahmed. The article is appropriately subtitled "On Off Chance of a Total Collapse, a Little Insurance". Not very long ago, this kind of investment protection probably would have been ridiculed. It seemed for a while that things like housing and the stock market were always going up. We have certainly learned in recent years that this is not always the case.
I am not an investment specialist, and I do not know a lot about the so-called black swan funds. Their existence, however, is a stark reminder that protecting your assets in advance of a calamity is clearly a good idea. While black swan funds, hedge funds and various other techniques can be used to protect the value of certain assets, a variety of legal techniques can be used to better protect your assets from creditors. Our litigious society and our uncertain economic times make asset protection planning more important than ever.