Three dangers you should put a little higher on your worry list...
You could probably name the three greatest risks to your portfolio in your sleep: the eurozone crisis, that US fiscal cliff, and the Chinese hard landing.
And you may well be right. Either one could punch a great big hole in your invested wealth. And if we get hit by all three of them at roughly the same time -- watch out.
But these risks are well documented. Markets may even partially discounted them. But there are three other portfolio risks that could do just as much damage, possibly more, but you've put them to the back of your mind.
There are only so many things you can fret about at any given time. Here are three more dangers you should put a little higher on your worry list.
War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing -- especially where your portfolio is concerned. Which is bad news, given the growing chatter about a pre-emptive Israeli strike in Iran's nuclear facilities, possibly as early as next month.
Personally, I've never quite believed Israel would attack, if only because the chances of destroying Iran's nuclear capability seem remote, and could provoke an unquantifiable backlash. But what do I know?
Some claim an Israeli attack could instantly wipe 1,000 points off the Dow. What happens next is anybody's guess.
Either way, if it happens, it could destroy your portfolio. At least for a time. Some investors may wish to duck and cover. Others will see this as a buying opportunity, and keep their powder dry.
Threat rating: 7/10, and growing...
War comes in different shapes and forms. Sometimes, the sabre rattling is strictly financial, but that can do almost as much damage.
People have been worrying about a potential trade war ever since the financial crisis. The US has been sniping at China for years, with Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney recently claiming he would label China a "currency manipulator" on his first day in office, which sounds like fighting talk.
China isn't the only FX villain. Everybody is manipulating their currencies, of course, notably the Bank of England, and the US itself, through QE3.
Erecting trade barriers could turn the current crisis into another great depression, as it did in the 1930s. So let's hope nations don't repeat history.
There is another trade war to worry about. Japan and China have been squaring up over the uninhabited Senaku Islands, and the US, which is selling missile defence systems to Japan, risks getting drawn into the dispute.
I can't imagine China launching a military raid against Japan, but it could target an attack on the Japanese bond market. It is Japan's largest creditor, after all. The good news is that both sides have too much to lose, given their close trade links. Money talks, they say. Unfortunately, nationalists shout.
Threat rating: 6/10.
The world is in recession. Traditionally, when that happens, the oil price plunges due to falling demand. Cheap oil gets the global economy motoring again. It has been a self-correcting cycle for decades, but now the mechanism appears to be broken.
Even with the Western economy stalled, the oil price is comfortably above $100 a barrel. One reason is that demand from emerging markets has remained strong. Another is Japan's decision to shift away from nuclear power. Oil is also getting more expensive to access, say, through deep sea drilling and tar sands.
Yes, the US has found plentiful shale oil and gas deposits, and that will help. Peak oil remains some way distant, there is still plenty of the black stuff out there, but cheap oil is a different matter.
We could also face a sudden oil price crunch if Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz in response to an attack by Israel. An oil price spike has preceded every major Western recession. We don't need another one.
Threat rating: 7/10.
On the defensive
If you're worried outside events might attack your portfolio, you might want to confine yourself to more defensive British blue chips, such as AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN), British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS), BT Group (LSE: BT-A), GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK), Imperial Tobacco (LSE: IMT), Prudential (LSE: PRU), Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB), Unilever (LSE: ULVR) and Vodafone (LSE: VOD).
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If the oil price does keep rising, savvy investors can benefit. Provided they buy the right companies. Our special report, "How to Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares", can point you in the right direction.
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> Harvey owns shares in GlaxoSmithKline, Prudential, Royal Dutch Shell and Vodafone. He doesn't hold any other investment mentioned in this article.