Sunday, January 08, 2012


Today January 9, 2012 is my birthday. My gift to my dear blog readers is this article. Enjoy!

Inflation is the reason why the price of your shoes and the price of your bread  increased as the time goes by. Almost everything that we consume or buy are subjected to inflation. All of us and even the government cannot avoid nor eliminate it. The best thing that the government do is to mitigate and reduce it.

When our Bangko Sentral announced that the Inflation rate for December 2011 eased to 4.4. % I am glad because compared to previous years the inflation in the year 2011 is only minimal. It means that Filipinos experience "only" an increased price of food and energy to around 4%. In Business and Economics when we experience a low inflation, the BSP usually cut interest rates in order for Filipinos to borrow more as additional capital for their business or to improve their infrastructure.

While low inflation is beneficial to businesses, for ordinary people though the low inflation rate has no meaning to them because  there are still limited options for savers to earn a real return on their savings. The Inflation figures released last Friday reveal that the consumer prices index – the index used by the government to measure inflation – decreased to 4.4% per cent in December. The price hikes in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels – which is seen as a more accurate gauge of the cost of living – fell from 5.7 per cent in November to 5.1 per cent in December.

As Filipino investor we can say that the small drop in inflation announced by BSP will not be enough to curb the woes of the nation’s savers. The lower and middle class are still not given real opportunity because there are no regular savings accounts available in the market that negate the effects of tax and inflation.

In order for us to beat inflation an ordinary Filipino should  find a savings account paying 5 per cent or more a year.Can we identify one Philippine bank that pays 5% interest rate for our savings?. There is none. The number 1 bank, Banco De Oro is paying a low of 2.0% and a high of 2.75%. If you put your money in a bank,  your profit will be eaten by inflation therefore the only way to beat inflation is to increase the risk scale.

There are many ways to beat inflation but not all are accessible to Filipinos. We can not buy gold, we can not trade currencies and we can not buy junk bonds. Maybe you heard all of these anti-inflation strategies but 99% of us are not investing on these because skill, access and capital prohibit us.

What then can we do as ordinary Filipinos?

1. Delay getting your Pag-IBIG Fund benefits
    You can get your Pag-IBIG Fund savings after 240 monthly payment and if you are not yet retiring by that time better continue the Pag-IBIG deduction. Your employer will give a share to your deduction and you will receive dividends at the end of the year.    

2. Delay getting your Social Security
   If you have enough money to have an early retirement, go ahead but to those who are not financially prepared, one way to beat inflation is to postpone taking benefits until age 60 or 65 you make an investment in the form of forgone monthly checks and get a return in the form of enhanced benefits thereafter. The incremental annuity you are buying is inflation indexed.

3. Plant your own vegetables and raised your own chicken or pig.
     On this strategy the city people with no access to agricultural lot and people who has opportunity cost in other endeavors are exempted. For the rest who are willing and able, one basic way to beat inflation is to plant your own vegetables and raised your own chicken or pig. The technique here is to spend less in order for us to invest more.

 3. Invest in Stocks and/or stock mutual funds
  This kind of strategy is only for those who are prepared to take risk. If you are not, stay away and look for other ways. For those who are brave  buy shares of oil, mining, and water companies. They should benefit from rising commodity prices. Real estate investment are another traditional haven for inflation worriers. But this sector is extremely pricey today,be very selective and consult experts before you buy.

     Inflation can have its positive and negative effects in our family and our investing strategies. Again , we have to make sure that our investments will give interest higher than the inflation rate 
       As I say to my Finance students: "Beat Inflation".

My best wishes always,
arnel l. cadeliña


Inflation hits 11-month low. ( 2012, January 7). Business World.

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