Hyperinflation… it can’t happen here, right? Well, according to history and financial experts it has happened 58 times before.
When it does happen, chaos becomes the norm. There are surges in pricing minute by minute.
In the book Paper Money, the author Adam Smith writes about hyperinflation in post WWI Germany, “Menus in cafes could not be revised quickly enough. A student at Freiburg University [in Germany] ordered a cup of coffee at a cafe. The price on the menu was 5,000 marks. He had two cups. When the bill came, it was for 14,000 marks. ‘If you want to save money,’ he was told, ‘and you want two cups of coffee, you should order them both at the same time.’”
When hyperinflation kicks in, food and fuel prices surge, people panic shop, and hoarding becomes a major issue, which also causes food supply shortages. Personal security becomes an issue as towns are no longer safe.
Yes, hyperinflation is real. And yes, it can happen during your lifetime.
The reason hyperinflation is currently in the news is because of the combination of the pandemic, economic upheaval, job loss, and government stimulus packages. While many experts do not think hyperinflation in America is likely, it is not completely out of the realm of possibility. According to The CATO Institute, there have been 58 episodes of hyperinflation across the world since 1923.
According to the report, “No one has ever been able to forecast the magnitude or direction of hyperinflations.” Since hyperinflation occurs with little warning, it is wise to stay aware and practice preparedness just in case.
How to Prepare Today for Hyperinflation
Just as you prepare for natural disasters and societal unrest, you also need to prepare for hyperinflation. Many of the steps you take to prepare for hyperinflation are similar to those you’d take for other emergencies.
With the possibility of hyperinflation, some people look for opportunities to lock in fixed interest rates. If you have a variable interest rate, you can expect your interest rate to rise during times of hyperinflation as the federal government raises rates to keep banks from failing.
Another way to protect your finances is to diversify your income. Don’t grow dependent on one income source. Similarly, follow the 60/40 rule for stocks and bonds just like you would with everyday inflation.
Investopedia suggests, “A 60/40 stock/bond portfolio is considered to be a safe, traditional mix of stocks and bonds in a conservative portfolio.” As the markets change, so should the way you allocate funds in your portfolio.
Ideally, the best time to make purchases is before hyperinflation occurs. If you wait until prices surge, you may find yourself unable to afford the things you need, or the items may be difficult to find. Make strategic purchases and stock up today based on what history has shown is valuable during times of hyperinflation.
People need shelter and a roof over their heads, so they are willing to pay for it even when costs are inflated. According to Money Crashers, “The value of the dollar in the United States roughly halved in the 30 years from 1990 to 2020, per the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The median home price in 1990 was $117,000 […] Yet at the end of 2020, the median home price had reached $346,800. Note that home prices outpaced inflation significantly.” Yet, people continue to buy and rent homes.
Moreover, if you own a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you are protected against hyperinflation rate hikes.
Precious metals, such as silver and gold, are valuable during times of hyperinflation. The value of gold never really changes, even though cash does. For example, it takes more cash today to buy the same amount of gold. However, that same amount of gold is even more valuable today. A $20 gold coin from 1920 (which was nearly one ounce of gold) is still the same amount of gold. Its essence has not changed. Today, one ounce of gold is approaching its all-time record of $2,000.”
Think back to this past spring when panic shoppers emptied grocery shelves of toilet paper and Clorox wipes. During times of hyperinflation, expect the same types of commodities to be hard to come by. Household staples, such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies, as well as food and water, are items that you should stock up on now rather than later.
My Patriot Supply’s Emergency Food Storage with a 25-year shelf life would hedge against disaster and be a great investment. If our country faces food shortages, you can rest easy knowing you are prepared. Likewise, if food costs rise to an alarming and unaffordable degree, you won’t have to panic.
Similarly, stock up on first aid supplies and medications while you can.
Items that people crave or are addicted to, such as cigarettes, alcohol, and coffee, become valuable during periods of hyperinflation. During recent hyperinflation in Venezuela, cigarettes became a go-to payment source when their currency was no longer valuable, bartering cigarettes for gasoline. In fact, bartering using cigarettes is so popular that experts suggest Americans store them for this purpose.
One cost that tends to rise with inflation at shocking rates is electricity. Get ahead of inflation increase by investing in solar power tools, such as solar lighting and solar-powered appliances. The less reliant you are on your electric company today, the better you will be if hyperinflation occurs.
Lastly, it is wise to stock up on tools or weapons for security. Should the U.S. undergo hyperinflation and you have a stockpile of wanted goods, you will be a target. You will need to protect yourself, your family, and your stockpile. Additionally, hyperinflation leads to periods of unrest. Make plans today to keep your loved ones safe.
Prepare today for possible hyperinflation tomorrow, friends.