Wednesday, May 16, 2012

charts that show inflation is near

the charts begin with the Federal Reserve's aggressive response to the financial crisis and end with a dramatic increase in the price of commodities such as corn, oil, and gold. The charts in between illustrate why the dramatic growth in the money supply has only begun to exert its influence on consumer prices.

Of course, if it's true that higher inflation is on the way, and I believe that it is, then it's important to start thinking about how to inflation-proof your portfolio.

As I discussed previously, the traditional way to do so is to anchor it in tangible assets. You can do this directly through an exchange-traded fund like the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD) , or indirectly by investing in companies that produce tangible assets like Molycorp (NYSE: MCP) , a rare earth producer, or Paramount Gold and Silver (NYSE: PZG) , an exploration-stage mining company in Mexico.

A second approach, and the one I prefer, is to invest in consumer goods companies that can pass price increases onto their customers. Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) are textbook examples of this given the power of their respective brands.

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