[quote]Da Man reloaded wrote:
Any opinions on what to hold for the next 5 to 15 years to hedge against the possibility of severe inflation? (Double-digit or low-triple-digit percentage per year for a number of years, let’s say: not necessarily civilization-collapse but harsh compared to what most of us in the USA are used to.)
Central Fund of Canada (CEF)?
Silver and Gold
Greenhaven Continuous Commodities ETF (GCC)?
Commodities Futures divided among 17 commodities
and spread out among several months of contracts
Global X Fertilizers/Potash ETF (SOIL)?
Maybe food price increases would drive this up
more than anything else?
EuroPac Hard Assets Mutual Fund (EPHAX)?
Peter Schiff’s inflation-hedging fund.
I am particularly interested to know what people’s opinions are regarding how effective GCC would be in a high-double-digits or low-triple-digits commodities-led inflation scenario, as compared with CEF, EPHAX, and/or SOIL: clearly superior; clearly inferior; probably comparable? I currently own a little bit of all of them, and am wondering whether or not it would be wise to dump the GCC and use the proceeds to buy more CEF, EPHAX, and/or SOIL. (“Wise” from the inflation-hedging standpoint, not necessarily “wise” from the median-probable-outcome standpoint.)
If somebody wants to suggest TIPs, I suppose he or she is free to do so: but I am not interested in them myself.
Regards and Thanks.
I probably used the term “hedge” in a technically incorrect manner. What I really mean is, what investments have the best likelihood of keeping up with or exceeding the increase in the cost of food, energy, and other basic necessities, should we experience high double digit or low triple digit annual percentage inflation for a number of years, sometime within the next 15 years? Even if those investments are likely to sustain moderate losses in the absence of double digit inflation? i.e. “inflation insurance”, where the losses in the absence of severe inflation would be viewed by me as the equivalent of insurance premiums.[/quote]
here is a question out of left field- it may be silly, presumptious or just plain stupid, but:
is there a sound manor, or any manor at all, in which one can invest in such things that are likely to go sky high in the next few years? Food, energy production, fuels? I have 0 idea and am probably making a fool of myself just by asking, but I am honestly interested.
I think probably there is, at least to some extent. I am just not sure whether or not I have the best stuff for that purpose. (Also not sure whether the necessities are “likely” to go sky-high, but it seems like a realistic possibility.)
Would it make sense to do so? Would the “stock” of such things “go up”? I dont know if the words in quotes are the proper words to use. If the question makes no sense, I will try to reword it.[/quote]
Jim Rogers seems to believe the commodities themselves will do better than the commodity producers over the next decade or so, which would seem to be an argument in favor of owning one or more funds that track commodities futures in some manner. (The commodity producers’ profits and most likely their share prices would be affected by both the costs of their inputs and the pricing power of their products, not just the latter.)
A study accessible via this link
seems to show that commodities futures did very well during the stagflation of the 1970s, which in my non-expert, possibly wrong opinion would also seem to be an argument in favor of owning one or more funds that track commodities futures in some manner (as insurance against a severe form of stagflation, if one perceives that to be a priority at the current time).
But commodities futures funds either (A) have problems with tracking slippage, if they actually hold commodities futures contracts and they have to keep selling “near” contracts and buying “far” contracts; or (B) they have concentrated counter-party risk if they are just shares in a promise by one entity to pay off on the value of a basket of commodities at a certain date, where you have to hope that issuing party does not go bankrupt. GCC fits “A”; and I wonder whether or not the tracking slippage would get worse in the event of severe inflation. I also wonder how large a proportion of the futures contracts’ counterparties would default in the event of severe inflation, although to me that seems less risky than the situation in “B” where the investor is relying on the one note issuer to stay solvent. The concerns in this paragraph might suggest that it would be better to invest in equities that are likely to do well in a severely inflationary environment, rather than commodities futures. (I think the equities held by SOIL and by EPHAX are likely to fit the preceding sentence.)
A fund that holds mostly physical precious metals might make sense as inflation protection. CEF, for example.
But gold and silver are already pretty high; and what if food runs up the most, as some experts seem to think is likely to happen? SOIL and possibly GCC might be better than CEF, in that case.
Alternatively, one might suppose that the experts working for Peter Schiff know better than you or I, so why not just buy EPHAX for inflation protection and be done with it.
But I think Peter Schiff was surprised by the rising dollar in 2008; so that makes me wonder if trusting EPHAX as my sole protection against inflation would be prudent.
So, considering all of the above, I currently have some GCC, some CEF, some SOIL, some EPHAX.
But if I understood Brother Chris correctly, three of the above have unfavorable values for one standard measure of reward vs. risk, while all four have unfavorable values for another standard measure of reward vs. risk. That might be an argument against owning any of them: although I am not sure whether those particular measurements should be extrapolated to the possible circumstances I have in mind where I think owning these might be beneficial; or if they should, I don’t know what would be better to own that would be comparably beneficial in those particular circumstances.