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The Tale Of The Titan Sub

The Titan submersible disaster and the migrant boat tragedy serve as potent reminders of life's unpredictability.

June 23, 2023

In recent times, the world has been gripped by two maritime incidents. The first involves the Titan submersible, a private vessel on a mission to survey the Titanic, that lost contact with its mother ship and triggered a large-scale rescue operation. The second incident saw a boat packed with migrants seeking refuge and a better life capsizing in Greek waters.

These incidents, the Titan submersible disaster and the migrant boat tragedy, although disparate in their nature and societal response, serve as potent reminders of life's unpredictability. They underscore the fragility of our plans against nature's whims and the critical role of financial planning in both mitigating risks and ensuring an equitable distribution of resources.


The Titan Submersible Incident and Risk Management

The Titan submersible, a vessel owned by OceanGate Expeditions, set out on a mission to survey the Titanic, the infamous shipwreck that rests deep beneath the North Atlantic. Among the crew were high-profile individuals including the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, a British billionaire, a French dive expert, and a prominent Pakistani businessman with his son. Their adventure took a grim turn when the submersible lost contact with its mother ship, the Polar Prince, just an hour and 45 minutes after launching its dive. The fate of the five-member crew hung in the balance as the oxygen supply dwindled, and an extensive rescue mission was promptly launched​.

Risk management is a critical aspect of life and financial planning. It involves identifying potential risks and putting measures in place to mitigate these risks. It serves as a buffer against unexpected events that can cause emotional and financial upheaval. Some key components of risk management in financial planning include the establishment of an emergency fund, procuring insurance for valuable assets and potential liabilities, and maintaining a diversified investment portfolio.

The Titan submersible incident is a stark embodiment of risk. Despite the significant resources at their disposal and meticulous planning that would have gone into such an expedition, the crew found themselves in grave danger. This incident serves as a reminder that no matter how well-planned or well-financed an endeavor is, unpredictability is a fundamental aspect of life. Hence, it is critical to have contingency plans in place.

An emergency fund, for instance, could be likened to the reserve oxygen supply on a submersible - a lifeline when things go wrong. Just as the oxygen supply on the Titan was a race against time for the crew's survival, an emergency fund can provide critical financial support during times of crisis, such as job loss or sudden health issues.

Insurance, both for valuable assets and potential liabilities, is another vital aspect of risk management. Similar to the role of a well-equipped rescue team in a maritime disaster, insurance can help mitigate the financial implications of unexpected adversities.

Finally, maintaining a diversified investment portfolio is akin to having multiple rescue strategies in a disaster scenario. If one strategy fails, others are available. Similarly, a diversified portfolio ensures that the risk is spread across various investments, reducing potential financial loss.

In conclusion, the Titan incident underscores the need for comprehensive risk management in life and financial planning. Despite our best efforts, we cannot entirely eliminate risks. However, through careful planning and preparation, we can certainly mitigate them.


The Migrant Boat Tragedy and Social Safety Nets

Parallel to the high-profile Titan incident, another maritime tragedy was unfolding - a fishing boat overcrowded with migrants sank in Greek waters. These individuals were attempting to journey from Libya to Italy, seeking refuge and a chance at a better life. Hundreds went missing and are feared dead, while some survivors were rescued, including people of various nationalities: Pakistanis, Egyptians, Syrians, Afghans, and Palestinians. The disaster sparked outrage, protests, and a wave of questions about the authorities' inaction and the lack of long-term solutions to such recurrent crises​.

The grim reality of the migrant boat tragedy illuminates the stark disparity in the resources and safety nets available to different segments of society. While the crew of the Titan had access to an immediate and well-resourced rescue operation, the migrants aboard the sunken boat had no such safety net. Their desperate journey was met with inaction and indifference from the authorities, reflecting a broader societal neglect towards marginalized groups.

Social safety nets are essential components of a just society, providing protection to individuals and families in times of economic hardship, calamities, or life-changing events. They include measures like unemployment benefits, social security, healthcare, and other forms of social assistance. These safety nets, however, are often inaccessible to marginalized communities, as exemplified by the migrant boat tragedy.

This incident underscores the importance of social safety nets and communal responsibility in financial planning. It serves as a reminder that our individual and collective financial security is intertwined. While personal financial planning is necessary, it is equally important to advocate for and contribute to societal financial structures that protect the most vulnerable among us.

One way of doing this is by supporting policies and initiatives that strengthen social safety nets and ensure their accessibility to all. Another is through philanthropy and social investment, using our financial resources to support organizations and causes that help marginalized communities.

In essence, the migrant boat tragedy accentuates the role of communal responsibility in financial planning. It underscores the need for a holistic approach that not only seeks personal financial security but also strives for a just and equitable society where everyone has access to adequate safety nets.


Long-term Financial Planning: A Necessity, Not a Luxury

Financial planning is not an exclusive practice reserved for the wealthy or the financially savvy; it is a necessary endeavor that ensures stability and security in an unpredictable world. This principle of financial stewardship applies to all, regardless of social or economic standing, and is highlighted by the contrast between the Titan submersible incident and the migrant boat tragedy.

Long-term financial planning involves a series of steps designed to provide economic stability, security, and growth over an extended period. This includes careful budgeting, consistent saving, strategic investing, and planning for retirement. Each of these steps plays a crucial role in shaping our financial future and safeguarding against unforeseen circumstances.

Budgeting is the foundation of financial planning. It involves understanding income and expenses, managing debts, and making conscious decisions about spending and saving. A well-structured budget allows for both immediate needs and long-term goals.

Saving is the next pillar of long-term financial planning. It entails setting aside a portion of income regularly, creating a financial cushion for emergencies, and working towards future goals. An emergency fund, as discussed earlier, serves as a lifeline in times of crisis.

Investing allows for the growth of wealth over time. It involves diversifying assets across various financial instruments, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, to balance risk and reward. Diversification, much like having multiple rescue strategies, ensures there are other avenues for growth if one investment faces a downturn.

Planning for retirement ensures that you have sufficient funds to maintain your lifestyle and cover expenses when regular income ceases. It's about preparing for the final phase of the financial journey, ensuring comfort, security, and peace of mind.

The migrant boat tragedy, while a heartbreaking event, underscores the critical role of long-term planning in achieving financial stability. Many of these individuals embarked on a perilous journey because they lacked viable alternatives for a safe and secure future. Their plight underscores the need for robust financial planning, not just for individuals, but also for communities and nations to build systems and opportunities that prevent such desperate measures.

In conclusion, long-term financial planning is not a luxury but a necessity. It is a proactive measure that helps mitigate the risks of life's uncertainties, secure our financial future, and contribute to a more equitable society. Whether we find ourselves aboard a luxury submersible or a humble migrant boat, the principles of financial planning remain the same, and their implementation is a crucial part of navigating life's unpredictable seas.


Power of Narratives: Wealth and Financial Planning

The contrasting media coverage of the Titan submersible incident and the migrant boat tragedy sheds light on societal values and resource allocation, painting a poignant picture of how narratives can influence our perception of wealth and financial planning.

The Titan submersible incident, involving the potential loss of a few wealthy individuals, garnered significant media attention, reflecting a societal fascination with wealth and the lives of the affluent. This was juxtaposed starkly against the muted coverage of the migrant boat tragedy, an incident involving the loss of potentially hundreds of lives, largely from marginalized communities. These contrasting narratives underscore how societal values can influence the allocation of resources, including attention and rescue efforts​.

Narratives, as these incidents demonstrate, wield immense power in shaping individual and societal approaches to financial planning. The dominant narrative often glorifies wealth, focusing on the accumulation of assets and the attainment of luxury. However, as the Titan incident shows, wealth does not exempt individuals from risk or disaster. It merely affords a safety net that many others lack, emphasizing the need for robust financial planning for all, not just the wealthy.

Meanwhile, the narrative surrounding the migrant boat tragedy – often framed as a distant problem or an unfortunate consequence of geopolitical strife – deflects from the urgent need for communal responsibility in financial planning and the establishment of societal safety nets.

As individuals planning our financial future, we need to critically evaluate the narratives we subscribe to. Are we solely focused on personal wealth accumulation, or do we also consider our role in advocating for and contributing to a more equitable financial system? Are we aware of the myriad risks that life presents, and do we have plans in place to mitigate them?

In conclusion, the power of narratives in shaping our financial planning cannot be overstated. By critically examining these narratives, we can foster a more holistic approach to financial planning – one that takes into account our individual needs, the needs of our broader community, and the unpredictability of life's journey. The incidents of the Titan submersible and the migrant boat tragedy serve as reminders of the realities we must prepare for and the narratives we must navigate in our financial planning.


As we reflect on the Titan submersible incident and the migrant boat tragedy, we are reminded of the essential principles of financial planning and the importance of the narratives we subscribe to. These two disparate maritime incidents offer us profound lessons on risk management, social safety nets, and long-term financial planning.

Both incidents underline the necessity of long-term financial planning. Whether one is wealthy or struggling, the importance of budgeting, saving, investing, and planning for retirement cannot be overstated. These practices provide stability and security in an unpredictable world, a truth made all too clear by the tragic circumstances that unfolded on the Mediterranean Sea.

As we plot our financial course, may we remember the lessons from the Titan and the migrant boat incidents, and strive to create a future where financial stability is not a privilege for the few, but a possibility for all.


Junwen Chen

My mission is to educate and empower people to design their lives so that they can live in abundance.

Let me partner with you, to design and nurture your dreams and ultimate life goals.


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