Life is a game of probabilities. When it comes to health or wealth that’s especially true. In the world of investing everyone is guessing where the market goes next day, week, month, year, or whatever period. Being able to predict future based on the past is something you see in dealing with both wealth and health. It’s easy to predict the outcome of an event from the past if the distribution is a Gaussian distribution where majority of the people follow the norm. However, wealth and health follow power law. Events that haven’t happened in the past are as likely to happen as the events that happened i.e. past performance is not an indication of future results. So how do we protect ourselves against the vagaries of nature. We take insurance.
You don’t know when the house may catch fire, theft may happen, or be flooded if you live in a flood prone area. So what do we do? We insure ourselves against the chance that the unforeseen event does take place. Nassim Taleb talks about this in the book Black Swan in clear terms.
For financial matters we can take insurance because the loss in most cases can be replaced by an equivalent amount of money. Life insurance is different. We can’t insure against life. But we can make sure those that are dependent don’t financially suffer due to the untimely death of a bread winner.
What do we do about health where our good old doctor has as much clue as a financial advisor has about what they can do about your well earned money. The doctors do have great knowledge and save lives. However, they don’t have a clue as to how the complex systems interact. In fact, Medical profession evolved to the point where every part of the body and sometimes portions within the body parts have specialists as though these parts are separate entities by themselves.
I am focusing here on how we can better insure ourselves against diseases. First take a health insurance. You should take the best possible one. Because loss of health is the most serious issue you have deal with in your life only next to death itself.
Next, Vaccinate yourself against all possible diseases like hepatitis A/B to flu. A lot of the diseases are caused by pathogens like bacteria and viruses and are preventable by training our immune system. Vaccines prepare arm immune system with the key to combat the pathogens so that when our body is attacked the body (immune system) knows how to combat. What are the diseases for which vaccines are available?
CDC has various schedules for vaccinations from birth to teen age
A more detailed version of this schedule from birth to 6 years.
For adulthood these are CDC guidelines
What if you are travelling outside US? That’s a long list and CDC has advisory for these. Follow this link.
A lot of the diseases can’t be prevented with vaccines. Hearth disease, cancer etc. may or may not be caused by viruses, or bacteria.
Exercise, eating healthy, safe sex, life style that reduces stress (like meditation, yoga) are all good insurance against diseases.
Essentially you need a diversified portfolio of health measures to combat. If all else fails (because life is a game of probabilities) you should have insurance health and life to take care of these unforeseen situations.
With a portfolio like this you can definitely prepare yourself for the surprises that life throws at you. If you know anything else that protects us against the black swan, please leave a comment.
Note that there are a lot of studies and movement against vaccines. None of this is proven and is based on pseudo science. As an additional blow to those against vaccination recently it was found that the British scientist responsible for starting the autism-MMR vaccine hoax not only falsified his data, but sought to profit from it.