Investment Read Time: 3 min

Inflation & Your Money

"If the current annual inflation rate is 7.9 percent, why do my bills seem like they're 10 percent higher than last year?"1

Many of us ask ourselves that question, and it illustrates the importance of understanding how inflation is reported and how it can affect investments.

What Is Inflation?

Inflation is defined as an upward movement in the average level of prices. Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a report called the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to track these fluctuations. It was developed from detailed expenditure information provided by families and individuals on purchases made in the following categories: food and beverages, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, recreation, education and communication, and other groups and services.2

How Applicable Is the CPI?

While it's the commonly used indicator of inflation, the CPI has come under scrutiny. For example, the CPI rose 7.9 percent for the 12-months ending in February 2022. However, a closer look at the report shows movement in prices on a more detailed level. Energy prices, for example, rose 25.6 percent during those 12 months.1

Are Investments Affected by Inflation?

They sure are. As inflation rises and falls, three notable effects are observed.

First, inflation reduces the real rate of return on investments. So, if an investment earned 6 percent for a 12-month period and inflation averaged 1.5 percent over that time, the investment's real rate of return would have been 4.5 percent. If taxes are considered, the real rate of return may be reduced even further.3

Second, inflation puts purchasing power at risk. When prices rise, a fixed amount of money has the power to purchase fewer and fewer goods.

Third, inflation can influence the actions of the Federal Reserve. If the Fed wants to control inflation, it has various methods for reducing the amount of money in circulation. Hypothetically, a smaller supply of money would lead to less spending, which may lead to lower prices and lower inflation.

Empower Yourself with a Trusted Professional

When inflation is low, it's easy to overlook how rising prices are affecting a household budget. On the other hand, when inflation is high, it may be tempting to make more sweeping changes in response to increasing prices. The best approach may be to reach out to your financial professional to help you develop a sound investment strategy that takes both possible scenarios into account.

1. USInflationCalculator.com, 2022
2. BLS.gov, 2022
3. This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. It is not representative of any specific investment or combination of investments. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

5 Original Ways to Show Your Love

5 Original Ways to Show Your Love

One of the best ways to love the people you care about is through properly protecting yourself, and them.

Financial Aid for Students 101

Financial Aid for Students 101

Help your college-bound child explore scholarships, grants, and more with this article on paying for higher education.

Comparing Mortgage Terms

Comparing Mortgage Terms

Estimate the total cost in today's dollars of various mortgage alternatives.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

How Retirement Spending Changes With Time

It can be difficult for clients to imagine how much they’ll spend in retirement. This short, insightful article is useful for jumpstarting a conversation about retirement spending, spending habits, and potential medical costs.

Budgeting After a Divorce

Divorce is the second most stressful time in a person's life. Here's some tips to get through it.

Disability Protection for Your Employees and Your Business

Many business owners are surprised to learn that wages paid to a disabled employee, not subject to a written plan, are not tax-deductible business expenses.

View all articles

Tax Freedom Day

Assess how many days you'll work to pay your federal tax liability.

Historical Inflation

This calculator shows how inflation over the years has impacted purchasing power.

What Is My Risk Tolerance?

This questionnaire will help determine your tolerance for investment risk.

View all calculators

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

View all presentations

The Fed and How It Got That Way

Here is a quick history of the Federal Reserve and an overview of what it does.

The Cycle of Investing

Understanding the cycle of investing may help you avoid easy pitfalls.

Investments

You’ve made investments your whole life. Work with us to help make the most of them.

View all videos