Before the Sky Falls: How to Prepare for a Greek Default

There are things you can do to prepare for a Greek default—but should you?

FE_DA_Greece_062711.jpg
By SHARE

There's no groundswell for this approach, though: UUP posted a net outflow of $61 million in May.

Hell, short everything. Lastly, you can buy put options on some broad index that you think will fall sharply if Greece defaults. A put option entitles the holder to sell something at a given price, and if that price is higher than the market, there's money to be made. If you're convinced a crash is on the way, and you can qualify to trade options (ask your broker), you could buy a long-term put on the S&P 500 through the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

For most investors, though, trading options is riskier than Greece itself. "The problem is that there's a lot of implied leverage in options," says Justice. "People can really burn themselves if they don't know what they're doing."

Hougan agrees. Options "are not for the faint of heart," he says. "If you know how to use them appropriately, you shouldn't be reading an article quoting me about how to prepare yourself."