This could be it, the beginning of the end. One of the most popular folklore tales in recent years, the world is scheduled to come to an end tomorrow, December 21, 2012. Many believers have prepared with emergency supplies and shelters, and Hollywood has even immortalized the event with a film depicting a doomsday scenario. The Mayan calendar comes to an end on 12/21/12, leading many to believe this was their way of predicting the end of the world, but it was simply the end of their annual cycle, just like 12/31 ends our cycle each year.
Nevermind the fact that NASA as well as cultural experts have completely refuted the claim, some still hold on the idea that tomorrow could be the last day that humanity exists. In the case of a global economic meltdown or utter chaos taking to the streets, we outline three ETFs to protect yourself against the end of life as we know it [for more ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
1. Physical Precious Metal Basket Shares (GLTR)
If a global economic meltdown is in order, precious metals may be the best way to defend yourself. Fiat currencies will likely be worth no more than the paper they are printed on, leaving precious metals to rise. This ETF offers physical exposure to all four precious metals, though it heavily favors gold and silver. Combined, platinum and palladium account for just over 10% of the fund. Because these two metals have more of an industrial appeal as opposed to being a real money, this exposure will probably be beneficial once stock markets plummet into oblivion.
2. Dow Jones U.S. Aerospace & Defense Index Fund (ITA)
The theories for how the world will come to an end vary, but a global war is certainly one of the more popular ideas. This ETF will certainly help you take advantage of a military conflict, as it invests in some of the biggest names in the defense sector. The fund, which maintains a steady 1.26% dividend, has had positive returns over the trailing one, three, and five-year stretches. Not only will this fund benefit from protecting our nation, but it could protect your portfolio against impending doom [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
3. Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN (TVIX)
Last but not least, TVIX is without a doubt one of the best funds in the world for taking advantage of a plummeting stock market. This 200% leveraged VIX fund preys on market weakness and can go on quite a run is major indexes string together multiple losing sessions. It is not uncommon to watch this fund move by 10% in a given session and when things get hairy, TVIX has been known to break the 20% mark for a single day. If stocks were to suddenly drop, no doubt that TVIX would be there to reap the rewards in a big way.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.