By James Saft
(Reuters) – Investors fearing the impact of an attack on Syria ought to start worrying instead about things they can predict and control.
In other words – and with apologies to Nathan Rothschild, whose advocacy of buying during times of war is probably apocryphal anyway – don’t “buy when there is blood in the streets,” hold.
Global markets have been roiled in recent days by a rising conviction that the United States will lead military strikes against the Syrian government in reprisal for its alleged use of chemical weapons on its own people. Emerging market assets were hit hard again on Wednesday, while Brent crude oil hit a six-month high of $117 a barrel. Gold also rose, and U.S. stocks, which had fallen on the theme on Monday, recovered a bit of ground.
The news from Syria, wracked by a civil war, is and likely will continue to be tragic, but for the vast majority of investors by far the smartest thing to do is nothing.
Strikes on Syria very likely will happen, and very likely will have mild to moderate impacts on a variety of asset markets, but you, dear reader, are highly unlikely to get rich trying to figure out how or why.