Monday, August 29, 2011

My 13-bean inflation hedge.

Never mind gold or TIPS. There are much more mundane ways to protect your purchasing power from inflation. Durable food commodities work just fine. I recently invested in 75 lbs. of 13-bean soup mix, purchased from The Great American Spice Company.

Beans: the grad student's investment vehicle.
Assuming that core commodity inflation continues at its current pace (almost guaranteed) and that these beans last the several years it will take me to consume them (less certain), I think it's a nearly foolproof investment. Other methods of hedging against inflation carry their own risks and are also much more expensive. Bulk food purchases are the chickenhearted investor's best friend, as Andrew Tobias has put it.

Now, any suggestions on bean soup recipes?

Followup (2/4/2012): I'm not quite as excited about the beans as I used to be. The problem with a bean mix is that some types of beans cook faster than others... and the gastrointestinal consequences of under-cooked beans are obvious to anyone who's suffered through them. If I were doing this over again, I would have gotten a bulk order of one type of beans and saved some money and hassle. Oh well - live and learn.