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Bristlecone Pines and Markets

Bristlecone Pines do very well where most other plants cannot even grow. What would be the equivalent in today's markets?
Ronald Weber
Investment Office, February 2016

According to Wikipedia "a bristlecone pine can refer to one of three species of pine trees (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus, subsection Balfourianae). All three species are long-lived and highly resilient to harsh weather and bad soils. One of the three species, Pinus longaeva, is among the longest-lived life forms on Earth. The oldest Pinus longaeva is more than 5,000 years old, making it the oldest known individual of any species."

"Despite their potential age and low reproductive rate, bristlecone pines, particularly Pinus longaeva, are usually a first succession species, tending to occupy new open ground. They generally compete poorly in less-than-harsh environments, making them hard to cultivate. In gardens, they succumb quickly to root rot. They do very well, however, where most other plants cannot even grow, such as in rocky dolomitic soils in areas with virtually no rainfall."

Source: Wikipedia; Great Basin National Park; National Park Service photograph by Loren Reinhold, US NPS, Public Domain,

At times such as the current down-cycle when many relationship managers are turning into therapists, what would be the equivalent in today's markets? Long-maturity DM government bonds, out of the money puts, CTAs first come to mind. 

Anything else? Hoarding cash, maybe a function close to the State, acquiring special skills. Or just being detached from reality and enjoying a cup of coffee?