Investment Basics

What’s inflation?

And why is it important

Inflation is defined as a sustained increase in the general level of prices for goods and services. It is measured as an annual percentage increase. As inflation rises, every Japanese Yen you own buys a smaller percentage of a good or service.

Implications for Investors

Keeping a close eye on inflation is most important for fixed-income investors, as future income streams must be discounted by inflation to determine how much value today’ s money will have in the future. For stock investors, inflation, whether real or anticipated, is what motivates us to take on the increased risk of investing in the stock market, in the hope of generating the highest real rates of return. Real returns are the returns on investment that are left standing after commissions, taxes, inflation and all other frictional costs are taken into account. As long as inflation is moderate, the stock market provides the best chances for this compared to fixed income and cash.

See our Article on Implication of Inflation For Japanese Investors