Sunday, April 27, 2008

More on inflation

In the last post, we talked about how inflation will hurt us badly. Today we shall discuss some countermeasures.

So inflation is a major issue if you think hard about it. All your savings goes down the drain and you are back to square one. You think you save S$1mn for your retirement and that should be enough. But hey 30 yrs from now, S$1mn cannot even buy HDB, Bcos the value of S$1mn in 2038 is worth only S$300,000 in 2008 and basically you might even have lost money even though you saved like mad for the past 30 yrs. What the heck! What should we do?

Actually there is nothing much we can do, except to invest in stocks and real estate properties. Historically these are the only two asset classes that can keep up with inflation. With stocks, you are buying pieces of companies and good companies will create value for their shareholders, inflation or not. The same goes for real estate.

There are some other unconventional methods to beat inflation completely original from this blogger so just read for fun and implement at your own risk!

1) You can increase your debt! Inflation helps debtors bcos the money they owe also decline in value, so if you borrow tons of money before inflation kicks in, next time you only need to pay back less than what you borrowed in real terms. But you must not put them in your bank and earn fixed D bcos then your fixed D also decline in value and you suck thumb. So you must borrow money and spend them asap, like buying Prada bags and Ferragamo shoes and satisfy your immediate desires! So maybe not much help to build your retirement nest.

2) Buy stuff that will retain its value over time, this means buying things like limited edition Rolex watches, silver, gold, white gold, platinum jewellery or other maybe pure gold bars. (Not diamonds btw, if the real supply of diamonds are released into the global markets, 1 carat diamond is worth as much as 1g of sand, the perceived high value of diamonds can be regarded as the biggest marketing gimmick in our times. Sorry girls, diamonds are worthless, contrary to what you think).

So back to the original solution: nothing beats buying stocks and properties to combat inflation, so keep your savings in these asset classes. The rest of the asset classes like cash, bonds, other currencies sadly will not help much.


  1. For a worker, the best guard against inflation is through one's own income

    In the case of an investor or business operator, Warren Buffett said "During inflation, Goodwill is the gift that keeps giving."

    I think this is a very insightful statement for it helps one to understand what it is needed to be input to get a desired output.


  2. hi BC,

    Very true indeed, the best guard against inflation is salary. That's why our top civil servants have pensions based on 70% of their last drawn pay!

  3. Current inflation is induced directly or indirectly by the sustained oil price. It doesn't matter whether or not the latter is a bubble, but for inflation to ease, the eventual price correction of the oil price must set in.

    I wrote an article on oil price and inflation on my blog. Hope you can comment. Thanks!



  4. I like the part where you say Diamond is worthless.

  5. Yeah, actually a lot of stuff are worthless in this world. Including investment advice, real estate agents etc. Hehe...