No Deflation Here

Rough stretch for markets, investments and asset values.  Sometimes you look at the screen or the newspapers and rhetorically ask whether anything has any value at all.

And then, it hits you.  There are things in this world that hold their value well – and there are things that only grow in value, regardless of economics or politics.

Here are a few:

Investments that hold their value:

Think toll booth-type business models.  Utilities, credit card processors, pipelines, food service.  They do not require profligate or indulgent spending by businesses or consumers.  Businesses that simply require that the sun comes up the next day and that people will still need food, shelter and water.

Things that hold their value:

I have a Special Audio CD (SACD) of Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks.  It has only gained in value since the day I added the album to my iPod and threw the disc in my car.  The SACD format brings this masterpiece to life.  The formerly muffled organs and drums and vocals literally explode into your ears with the clarity that God himself must experience when he listens to our prayers.  You can hear Dylan’s cuff link scrape against the side of his guitar at the intro of ‘Simple Twist of Fate’.  Show me how the greatest deflation known to man could possibly make this $10 purchase worth less than its initial cost.

People that hold their value:

I’ll be packing tonight for a big trip out west.  I’m going for two nights and will likely have a blast with Howard Lindzon and the Gang talking stocks, technology, sports and throwing down plenty of cold ones.  My wife and two babies will be home without me for those two nights – a running undercurrent of heartbreak for me just thinking about the giggles, the sneezes, the firsts and whatever else I may miss.  The value of spending time with friends is deflation-proof, the value of coming home to my family afterward is hyper-inflationary to say the least.

I don’t know where stocks and bonds and commodities end the week.  I do know that I will be spending the weekend thinking about the value of other things, things that are impervious to the downward spiral being experienced elsewhere.

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