1. Play the stock market

Stocks have historically outperformed inflation to a significant degree, making them one of the strongest hedges against high-flying prices.

You can use inflation to your advantage by investing in sectors of the economy that may benefit from rising prices, including food, technology, building materials and energy.

Many innovative apps can help you invest in the market. Weigh the pros and cons of each, find the right one for your financial needs and get in the game.

2. Get precious

Gold and silver nuggets on black background. Precious stones, luxury concept and mineral drainage. Industrial activity, treasure and fortune.
RHJPhtotoandilustration / Shutterstock

Fears of inflation usually bring new attention to hard assets such as gold and silver. Both commodities performed well over the past five years, with the value of gold rising by 52 per cent over that span, and silver’s increasing by about 49 per cent.

You can hold precious metals directly by purchasing coins or bars, or you can take a more hands-off approach and invest in exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, that include commodities in their holdings but trade like stocks.

One popular investing app can help you add gold or silver ETFs to your investments.

3. Capitalize on the scorching real estate market

Real estate has proven to be one of the most reliable long-term investment plays you can make. Canada's housing market has been on fire in recent years.

If you’re ready to buy your first home, or already own a house and want to trade up, compare mortgage offers to find your best rate. Mortgage rates are still historically low: The 5-year fixed is flirting with the 2 per cent level again.

The lowest mortgage rates tend to go to the borrowers with the highest credit scores, so do what you can to raise your credit score a few notches.

4. Be wary of loans with variable rates

A conceptual look at variable interest rates. Where next?
travellight / Shutterstock

When inflation heats up, interest rates often rise. If you’re carrying any variable-rate debt, like a credit card balance or home equity line of credit, an uptick in inflation will result in higher interest charges.

That is especially true for mortgages. If you have an variable-rate mortgage, you may want to talk to your lender about refinancing and opting for a fixed rate instead.

That’ll guarantee that you’ll pay the same interest rate until you decide to sell your home — or refinance again at an even lower rate.

6. Bring down your debt

If you’re carrying significant debt, but a mortgage refi or rate swap isn’t suitable for you, there are still options to reduce the interest you’re paying creditors.

One proven method for slashing the cost of your debt is to take out a lower-interest debt consolidation loan using a free loan comparison service like SmarterLoans).

By rolling all of your high-interest debt into a single loan, it’ll be much easier to budget around a single payment to one lender rather than several.

7. Cut all the costs you can

You've probably noticed by now that most of the suggestions here involve spending money. But cutting expenses is also an excellent hedge against inflation.

If you haven’t checked insurance rates lately, there’s a good chance you’re paying more than you should.

So do some comparison shopping, and you may find a better deal on your car insurance or save hundreds of dollars a year by uncovering a cheaper homeowners policy.

8. Stay the course

Not everyone believes inflation’s recent spike is a sign of long-term problems. Warren Buffett has noted that consumers still have money to spend.

"People have money in their pocket, and they pay the higher prices,” he told his Berkshire Hathaway devotees in May.

So if you’re comfortable enough with your current finances to absorb the higher prices, you may want to ignore the hype. And, generate some extra income in the stock market without much effort, by using a popular app that helps you invest your "spare change".

About the Author

Clayton Jarvis

Clayton Jarvis

Reporter

Clayton Jarvis is a mortgage reporter at MoneyWise. Prior to joining the MoneyWise team, Clay wrote for and edited a variety of real estate publications, including Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Real Estate Professional, Mortgage Broker News, Canadian Mortgage Professional, and Mortgage Professional America.

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