Inflation Doesn’t Seem Ready for Liftoff

The inflation rate should be an important consideration for investors. It not only affects the price of many investments—particularly those such as bonds which provide fixed periodic payments—but also how much money you need to reach your financial goals. But for all its importance the inflation rate hasn’t moved dramatically in recent years, and it doesn’t seem likely to start doing so any time soon.

Topics: Inflation

The Outlook for Inflation

The US inflation rate has been extremely low since 2009, averaging only 1.6% per year. That’s below the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. But recently Fed Chair Janet Yellen warned of a phenomenon called “pent-up wage deflation”, which is a complicated way of saying that inflationary pressure could suddenly surge as the economy picks up steam. So how much risk is there of a spike in inflation?

Topics: Blog Bonds Inflation Interest Rates Janet Yellen

The Possibility of European Deflation

The euro zone has struggled mightily in recent years, with its economy shrinking in both 2012 and 2013. Now it faces a new worry. Inflation in the euro zone has fallen to a 0.4% annualized rate, well below the target of close to 2% set by the European Central Bank (ECB) and close to outright deflation. The dangers of high inflation (a sustained rise in the prices of goods and services throughout the economy) are well known: it reduces the value of people’s savings and can make individuals and businesses reluctant to invest. So shouldn’t deflation (a decline in prices) be beneficial? Not exactly.

Topics: Blog Inflation Europe ECB Deflation

The Importance of Taking Inflation into Account

There are lots of reasons to try to grow your wealth, from retirement to education to starting a business. One thing these goals have in common is that the amount of money needed to achieve them doesn’t stay constant. The prices of almost everything change over time, which is why it’s important to take inflation into account when setting your financial goals.

Topics: Blog Inflation College Retirement

The Problem with Too Much Cash

According to a survey by MFS Investment Management, investors on average have 24% of their portfolio in cash. Is having so much cash a good idea?

Topics: Blog Inflation Cash