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Monday, March 4, 2024

Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you got everything you wanted this holiday season and, most importantly, I hope you had time to spend with your family.  I'm waiting for mine to wake up - waiting for my children to come out of their rooms so I can videotape (gosh I'm old, there's no tape anymore) them in those first moments of Christmas morning - how can I not be of good cheer anticipating that?

It occurred to me, though, that I have something I can give you.  Not peace on earth but perhaps peace of mind heading into the New Year - a way to help insure some future prosperity with a few inflation-fighting stock picks that can brighten up your virtual portfolio, which also can be used to help balance the budget against unexpected cost increases.  

This isn't an options seminar or one about risk or leverage - these are just a few practical ideas you can use to hedge against inflation as it may affect your everyday life using basic industry ETFs and some simple hedging strategies to give you an opportunity to stay ahead of the markets if they keep going higher.  

Idea #1 - Hedging for Home Price Inflation

Let's say you have $20,000 put aside for a deposit on a home but you're not sure it's the right time to buy.  On the other hand, let's say you are worried that home prices will take off again (I doubt this but you never know).  XHB is the homebuilder's ETF, currently at $17.46 and they bottomed out at $7.77 in 2009 and were in the $40s back in 2006.

You can sell 20 contracts of the XHB 2013 $14 puts for $1.70 each ($3,400) and that obligates you to buy 2,000 shares of XHB at $14 (20% off the current price) and you can use that money to buy 30 2013 $15/18 bull call spreads for $1.40 ($4,200) so another $800 out of pocket and you have 30 $3 contracts for net $800 that pay back $9,000 if XHB simply gains .54 by Jan 2013.

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