Saturday, December 22, 2012

Retirement planning

There's plenty of advice around about how to invest for retirement, so I may as well throw my 2 cents in as well.  I'll be honest, there's not a lot of great places to stash money right now, but I won't go so far as to say you shouldn't set anything aside.  Instead, I'm going to propose that you stock up on whiskey.

For example, a bottle of Jim Beam retailed for $14 at the beginning of 2007, but at the end of November 2012 was priced at $19, an annual increase of 5.2%.  Not a huge return, but consider the alternatives.  The S&P 500 began the same time period at 1416 and ended at 1416.  A home purchased in 2007 for $190,000 would now only be worth about $125,000.  Gold, would, in fact, have been a great investment in 2007 when the average price was about $695 an ounce.  Today, gold is trading at $1,650, which would have given you an annual return of about 15.5%.  Unfortunately, it appears that the gold rush is over, and I expect to see gold prices decline as the inevitable interest rate increases become imminent, and quantitative easing comes to an end.

I suggested whiskey here because it has a history as a store of value.  But, you could use just about any consumable product that has an indefinite shelf life.  Just make it something that you would use, and if you never resell it for a profit, you can still just use it, so you're not really out anything, unless the price actually drops, a scenario that I don't think is likely for many things.  And if enough people did it, perhaps it would provide the boost our economy needs.

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