E.F. Heagen & Associates

(949) 487-6711

Investment Read Time: 3 min

Inflation & Your Money

“If the current annual inflation rate is only 1.4 percent,1 why do my bills seem like they're 10 percent higher than last year?”

Many of us ask ourselves that question, and it illustrates the importance of understanding how inflation is reported and how it can affect investments.

What Is Inflation?

Inflation is defined as an upward movement in the average level of prices. Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a report called the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to track these fluctuations. It was developed from detailed expenditure information provided by families and individuals on purchases made in the following categories: food and beverages, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, recreation, education and communication, and other groups and services.2

How Applicable Is the CPI?

While it’s the commonly used indicator of inflation, the CPI has come under scrutiny. For example, the CPI rose 1.4 percent for the 12-months ending in January 2021 – a relatively small increase. However, a closer look at the report shows movement in prices on a more detailed level. Used car and truck prices, for example, rose 10 percent during those 12 months.3

Are Investments Affected by Inflation?

They sure are. As inflation rises and falls, three notable effects are observed.

First, inflation reduces the real rate of return on investments. So, if an investment earned 6 percent for a 12-month period, and inflation averaged 1.5 percent over that time, the investment’s real rate of return would have been 4.5 percent. If taxes are considered, the real rate of return may be reduced even further.4

Second, inflation puts purchasing power at risk. When prices rise, a fixed amount of money has the power to purchase fewer and fewer goods.

Third, inflation can influence the actions of the Federal Reserve. If the Fed wants to control inflation, it has various methods for reducing the amount of money in circulation. Hypothetically, a smaller supply of money would lead to less spending, which may lead to lower prices and lower inflation.

Empower Yourself with a Trusted Professional

When inflation is low, it’s easy to overlook how rising prices are affecting a household budget. On the other hand, when inflation is high, it may be tempting to make more sweeping changes in response to increasing prices. The best approach may be to reach out to your financial professional to help you develop a sound investment strategy that takes both possible scenarios into account.

1. InflationData.com, 2021
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021
3. InflationData.com, 2021
4. This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. It is not representative of any specific investment or combination of investments. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Should You Invest in Exchange Traded Funds?

Should You Invest in Exchange Traded Funds?

There are hundreds of ETFs available. Should you invest in them?

Diversification, Patience, and Consistency

Diversification, Patience, and Consistency

Three important factors when it comes to your financial life.

5 Smart Investing Strategies

5 Smart Investing Strategies

Getting what you want out of your money may require the right game plan.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Required Reading: The Economic Report of the President

The Economic Report of the President can help identify the forces driving — or dragging — the economy.

How the Federal Reserve Works

Each day, the Fed is behind the scenes supporting the economy and providing services to the U.S. financial system.

What’s Your Investment IQ?

You make decisions for your portfolio, but how much do you really know about the products you buy? Try this quiz

View all articles

What Is the Dividend Yield?

This calculator helps determine your pre-tax and after-tax dividend yield on a particular stock.

Impact of Taxes and Inflation

Estimate the potential impact taxes and inflation can have on the purchasing power of an investment.

Saving for College

This calculator can help you estimate how much you should be saving for college.

View all calculators

5 Smart Investing Principles

Principles that can help create a portfolio designed to pursue investment goals.

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

View all presentations

The Junk Drawer Approach to Investing

It's easy to let investments accumulate like old receipts in a junk drawer.

16 Wall Street Cliches in 60 Seconds

Pundits say a lot of things about the markets. Let's see if you can keep up.

Bursting the Bubble

Tulips were the first, but they won’t be the last. What forms a “bubble” and what causes them to burst?

View all videos