The CEO of Wal Mart said today that his company can no longer hold the line on prices. Costs of food, gas and clothing are about to rise significantly for customers and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. There are actions that could have been taken a year ago, but those actions weren't taken and now it's too late. Soon we will all see prices of basic items rise. As it happens, it will become increasingly difficult for ordinary people to use their cars for anything other than necessary travel. Buying groceries will involve making hard choices about how to feed a family on limited resources. Clothing purchases will be viewed as a luxury as many people find the price of cotton to be beyond their reach.
I wish I were exaggerating. I wish I were only getting this from sources that others may easily mock. But it's not coming from talk show hosts or religious fanatics. It's coming from serious financial analysts, solid professionals who say the storm is coming and the only options left are those that involve self protection.
To protect yourself from a round of high inflation and the inevitable chaos that will come with it, there are a few basic steps you can take.
First, buy a good supply of non perishable food, put it in your cupboards and forget it exists. When prices rise, you will be glad you did. Non perishables can keep for many years, so if I turn out to be wrong, it just means you have enough soup, rice, beans, canned fruits and vegetables, oatmeal and flour to last a while and there is no harm done.
Second, go shopping for clothes now. Buy enough blue jeans, underwear, socks, jackets, sweatshirts and t-shirts to last for years and the worst that will happen is you won't have to shop for those items for a while. Again, if I turn out to be wrong, you lose nothing. If I am right, however, you will thank me.
Third, if you have money in savings, consider turning at least half of it into hard currency, meaning not cash, but precious metals. Silver and gold can be bought in various amounts starting with one ounce coins. Silver is undervalued right now so a one ounce coin can be bought for about twenty four dollars, a bargain by historical standards. If inflation hits, as I believe it will, the money you have in the bank will lose value with each passing day. Gold and silver retain their value in times of inflation and sometimes go up in value as late comers flock to it, driving the price up. If I am full of it and no inflation is forthcoming, you can always cash in your coins with no loss to the value of your portfolio. You may even turn a small profit.
Other nations have endured times such as are heading our way. We have made all of the mistakes they made that brought it on their heads, and then some. It's too late to argue about how and why it happened or who is to blame. Those questions will sort themselves out. More important is the practical need to endure the coming storm. If you put yourself in position to protect yourself and your family, then you may find it possible to reach out and be a blessing to others who were not ready when the time came.