Inflation simplifiedBy Randell Tiongson on June 16th, 2014
A recent report has pegged the Philippine inflation at 4.5%, quite a high number which caused a lot of concern for many. My friend & respected economist Dr. Alvin Ang says that the inflation is mainly due to increasing food prices which can be partly blamed on Typhoon Yolanda. The government is unfazed with the high inflation number and are still confident that they can keep inflation within acceptable limits. There are talks that interest rates might go up as a means to control inflation.
Just what is inflation? Investopedia defines inflation as “the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and, subsequently, purchasing power is falling. Central banks attempt to stop severe inflation, along with severe deflation, in an attempt to keep the excessive growth of prices to a minimum.”
Someone asked me what inflation is and how it can affect them? Let me answer in a more practical way — simply put, inflation is a measure being used to track the rising costs of general goods and services. Because of inflation, the purchasing power of our peso will actually deteriorate. Countering inflation is done through an increase in income– as long as the increase in income is equal or higher than inflation, things will be ok. The case for your savings is a different one. If your savings do not appreciate faster than inflation, the real value of your savings will go down in terms of what goods and services it can buy. The solution to this is investing your money where it can grow faster than inflation.
Now, where can you invest your money where it can grow faster than inflation? Typically, stocks or equity-laced funds (mutual funds, UITF & VUL) and real-estate are good investments that will can outperform inflation in the long run — emphasis on the long run… meaning, in the long-term…. as in after many, many years. When investing for long-term objectives like retirement, be mindful of inflation.
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