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A Biflation Roundup

Let’s start this week off with DoughRoller’s article Is Dave Ramsey Right that Credit Cards are Evil? Both DR and I are of a similar mind, the blame assigned to card use is far overdone. There are pros and cons to everything, and Dave’s “all or none” approach isn’t for all of us.

At Consumerism Commentary, Rob Bennett had an intriguing The Good Side of Stocks’ Lost Decade, which I read and understood. The premise is that for savers early on, this decade provides a lower cost. In 30 years time, look backwards, there will be a nice stock market price chart, and Rob will be able to say, “every purchase made during this bad time was made at a great discount to the trendline” and he’d be dead-on right. I, personally, am at the other end, where a sustained S&P 2500 would put me in a position to retire.

At Bible Money Matters, my Friend, (and the guy that designed my logo) Peter asked Is It Harder To Not Fall Prey To Consumerism When You Can Afford It More? Some great comments there, mine ended with “There’s an age/income/asset level that prompts the “you can’t take it with you” conversation.”

I think Gold is in bubble land, a financial accident waiting to happen for most gold gamblers. It seems Financial Edge agrees, with 5 Signs Gold Has Peaked.

A recurring question, this week tackled by LifeTuner, Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Early a Good Financial Strategy? The desire is out there, but the reality is far from the no-brainer many think it is. Read Chris’ article for more thoughts on this. (Note – no link, as the original article went missing)

I follow Lorie at Clutter Diet for some great tips on how to declutter my life. As many bloggers are quick to point out, clutter can cost you, so there really is a strong tie to one’s personal finances. This week Lorie’s article 4 Ways Clutter Can Kill Your Sex Life was getting some buzz on twitter (it was originally published in 2009) and caught my attention.

Last, another older post really impressed me – Balance Junkie’s Are You Ready for Biflation? A fascinating view on how we don’t live in a single economy, for the last decade the costs of goods and services haven’t risen at the same pace, in fact, goods have gotten cheaper while services have risen. Check out the article for a great discussion.

  • Augustine June 5, 2011, 2:41 pm

    Biflation is an alias for stagflation. Its cause is simple: with debt money being created at an unprecedented rate in the credit bubble, those goods purchased primarily through loans saw their price decrease, whereas that same money creation diluted the currency, increasing the price of goods purchased primarily with cash, such as food and other commodities and services, all the while unemployment increased.

    It’s easy to understand it if one recalls that the rise of prices is not inflation, but the result of inflating the money supply. The former is a result of the latter, usually with a delay of up to some years.

    I’ve lived through this for half of my life growing up in Brazil. Except that we called it for it was, stagflation, and didn’t mind delving in Newspeak to hide the morass.

  • keystroke logger June 6, 2011, 5:34 am

    Biflationis defined as inflation and deflation occurring simultaneously in different parts of the economy specifically, rising prices for commodities that trade in global markets and falling prices for things bought with credit domestically, like homes and automobiles.

  • Elle June 6, 2011, 8:58 am

    Rob Bennett’s theme that those saving for retirement are more buyers than they are either owners or sellers of stocks is a great way of presenting a main tenet of Jeremy Siegel’s _Stocks for the Long Run_ and I think a bit of Ben Graham, too: If one is re-investing for the long run (and nearly anyone saving for retirement is), the downturns are what yield fantastic returns on one’s portfolio as a whole. I would like to read more from Bennett.

  • JOE June 6, 2011, 9:16 am

    I like Rob’s work. In this case I think the benefit he cites is more applicable to those who are early in their investing lives. Those who are retired or a stone’s throw away, not so much.

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