Have you been out to lunch or dinner lately and looked at the astronomical prices on the right side of the menu? Did you think, “With these prices, you’d think someone, anyone, would like to take my order?”
Then, you get your cheeseburger, in no paradise of yours, and it’s missing one of the fixings you know you ordered. And, by the time your server revisits you, it’s about time for your next meal. That, my friend, is stagflation. Higher prices, less service.
Look, Your Survival Guy is no economist, and I’m thankful for that, but I can play armchair economics now and then and not because I feel wicked smart now that my alma mater Babson College is in The WSJ’s top ten colleges at #10. But it doesn’t hurt. No, I’m here to say investors worry about stuff, stagflation, deflation, and/or inflation, and miss the boat on taking action. I’m here to say we got ‘em all, all at the same time.
If, for example, you’re sitting on a portfolio of commercial real estate in one of the big blue blob cities, then you know a thing or two about deflation. That sound you hear is yesterday’s prices looking for something, anything to stop the pain. They, too, can’t find the workers your restaurant desperately seeks. That’s deflation.
Then, not to be forgotten, is inflation, where speculators pay through the nose for AI stocks to load up, yet again, into the next bubble. That, dear reader, is too much money chasing too few goods. Do I know when it will burst? Not my concern. What is my concern is not to bore you with speculation about our future when I know for certain how hard it is to understand where we’ve been and where we are.
What history makes clear is there are big-time losers, big-time winners, and those who avoid the fray. My concern is with the latter. I want a place for us to hide, where the living is good (doesn’t have to be the best), and you have a place to rest your weary head. That’s a good life to me. And one I want for you.
Action Line: I was talking with my father-in-law Dick Young yesterday about Jimmy Buffett’s passing and his concert in Key West just months before. “I hope every one of your clients gets to watch part of Jimmy’s last concert in Key West.” It’s one of my favorites because I think Jimmy knew the importance of it all and because he sounds like he’s at peace and talks about his life there like it was yesterday. Enjoy.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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