The excavation of 33 miners from a Chilean cave will go down as an amazing feat. Never before have so many miners been trapped for so long and survive. One cannot avoid the obvious questions. How did these men do it? How did they maintain physical and emotional equilibrium? The answer is profoundly simple, proper planning.
The Chilean miners survived because they planned for the worst case scenario. Since the beginning of mining, men have been trapped due to explosions or collapses. But this time the result would be different.
The 33 trapped miners were a perfect mix of experienced and the inexperienced workers, the young and the old. Food and water was routinely stored and refreshed in the mine. When the day of turmoil arrived, preparation turned a crisis into an inconvenience.
Their survival has profound implications for money management. First, you never know when and for how long an economic downturn will occur. Second, you must have enough “financial food” to sustain your lifestyle for much longer than you anticipate. Thirdly, your financial team must include experienced professionals who keep calm in the midst of absolute panic. Just think, 69 days trapped under 700,000 tons of rock, and you live to talk about it? Wall Street and Main Street can learn a few things about planning from a few miners in Chile.