By: Jeff Bullock
Have you ever gone to a go-kart track to race against family or friends? If you’re like me, as you wait in line, you are watching intently to find the fastest go-kart. In theory, all of them should go the same speed, but we all know that some are faster than others. If you choose unwisely, it doesn’t matter how hard you try, or how firmly you push down on the pedal, you are destined to lose against a faster machine. Perhaps you have a few tricks up your sleeve that can stave off a speedier kart for a short amount of time, but ultimately, you need a bigger engine if you want to compete. The outcome of a scenario like this is inevitable before the race even begins.
This same outcome occurs every day when the cash in your bank account tries to keep up with inflation. Cash is destined to lose every time in our current environment. The engine in your checking account will not keep up with the engine of inflation. The outcome of the cash vs. inflation scenario is known before the race even starts.
It’s important to remember that price and value can be different. Price simply refers to the amount something costs in terms of a given currency. Value refers to the worth, usefulness, or utility you get out of it. Price and value don’t always line up perfectly.
Think of it this way, would you rather have something that fluctuates in price, and has the potential to appreciate in value, or something that is stable in price but will slowly lose its value over time? Cash may feel safe because the price is stable, but in our current environment, it is no different than an ice cube sitting on your deck on a warm spring day – its value is continuously melting away.
How do we change the outcome?
There are many ways to try and beat inflation and, at minimum, maintain your value, but all require the willingness to accept price fluctuations along the way. One thing we know with high probability is the engine on the cash go-kart is losing every minute to the engine on the inflation go-kart
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