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How They (And You) Make Money Off Disasters

Political unrest
Conflict Securities Advisory Group, an independent research provider specializing in identifying companies doing business with Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Cuba. (That's more than 800 publicly traded companies, it says.)

The group works with mutual fund providers, individual investors and pension systems and their asset managers to help funds design and implement custom "terrorist-free" international portfolios.

When the populace has enough and fights to overthrow the government as was the case in the "Arab Spring" protests, companies also see opportunity.

The battle in Libya to overthrow dictator Moammar Gadhafi is a case in point. For years, sanctions and demands that 90% of oil production be kicked back to the official state oil company have dulled the earning potential of foreign companies.

Among the oil companies with ties to Libya expected to benefit from Gadhafi's exit are: ExxonMobile (XOM - Get Report), BP (BP - Get Report), ConocoPhillips (COP - Get Report), Hess (HES - Get Report), Marathon (MRO - Get Report), Occidental Petroleum (OXY - Get Report) and Italian oil producer ENI (E).

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