Tag Archives: inflation

The Truth About Economics: Part 5 Inflation Protection

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(See Comic) How Much Money Do You Have? Little Or No Money If you have little or no money then you don’t have much to lose. However, inflation makes it that much harder to catch up and start accumulating money. If you don't have money sitting around, you have no money to put into an inflation hedge, like gold. All you can expect is for your cost of living to go up, while wages lag. If you are in debt, inflation will diminish the debt, but you still have to have enough money to pay off that debt. Moderate Amount of Money Due to inflation, you can’t just save money. You have to put it to work. money market Otherwise, over time, you lose purchasing power. You may be earning interest on your money, but it is still losing purchasing power, because interest rates don’t keep up with inflation. That is part of the problem to begin with: artificially low interest rates leading to excessive money demand and thus excessive money supply growth. And to add insult to injury, you are directly taxed on the little interest you make off your savings. Realistically, in the current environment, unless you are making over 10% a year on your money, you are losing out to inflation. Lots of Money If you have lots of money then you are in the best position to not only hedge yourself against inflation but also profit from it. If you have lots of money then you have lots of money to throw around into different investments. Plus, the more money you have, the more you become eligible to borrow more money at cheap rates and invest in things like hedge funds. But you still have to be wise. An unwise person with lots of money can be hurt by inflation more than anyone. Especially if the government wants to come in and redistribute wealth. money market accounts Where to Put Money In general, in an inflationary environment, you want your money to be in “things,” not paper. Since 2002, general commodity prices have risen about 3 fold (300%); that is very significant seeing as for the previous 20 years prices were practically stagnant—mostly due to increases in productivity. Gold/Silver The classic inflation hedge (and hedge against uncertainty in general) is to always have about 10% of your money in gold/silver. Gold and silver are historically what is considered real money (including in the U.S. Constitution). Unlike paper money and credit, there is a limited supply of silver and gold. Thus, gold and silver are a hedge against inflation and a hedge against economic uncertainty in general. In 2002 gold was selling for under $300 an ounce, silver under $5 an ounce. Today in 2008, gold is nearing $1000 an ounce and silver is nearing $20 an ounce. It would have been wise to buy gold and silver back in 2002, but if inflation keeps up, and speeds up, $1000 gold and $18 silver may seem cheap in the future. investing in gold, currency hedge, gold bullion investment Coming Next: Part 6, What to Expect in the coming years

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The Truth About Economics: Part 4 Money Supply Growth

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(See Comic) Text from comic: Fractional Reserve Banking Most people don’t realize that when they put say $1000 in their bank account, the bank is then allowed to lend out 90% of that money ($900) at interest. When that $900 that was lent out inevitably gets re-deposited into the banking system, it is lent out again ($810). And this process just keeps on going. This is called fractional reserve banking and it is where most of the creation of money comes from--not from physically printing it. Money is anything that can be used to settle debt. And only a tiny percentage of money exists as physical currency. Money Supply Measurements: M0, M1, M2, M3 M0: The total of all physical currency, and accounts at the central bank (FED) that can be exchanged for physical currency. M1: M0 minus the portions of M0 held as reserves or vault cash plus the amount in "checking" or "current" accounts. M2: M1 plus most savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit of under $100,000. M3: M2 plus all other CDs, deposits of eurodollars and repurchase agreements. Note: The FED stopped reporting M3 in 2006. It was increasing too much to continue to let anyone know about it. FDIC: In US banks you will see a sign saying FDIC Insured. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is a government corporation that guarantees deposits held in banks up to $100,000 per depositor. This is necessary because if there was ever a run on the banks and people demanded withdrawal of their money they’d quickly find out their money doesn’t really exist. If there is big demand for money (borrowing) and the supply grows faster than the economy (real GDP), inflation follows. That is what has been happening lately. Just Remember, the more money out there chasing goods and services, the more its purchasing power is eroded. Coming Next: Part 5, Protecting Yourself from Inflation

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