It Could Be Worse (Unless You’re In The U.K.)

For the last several months, it seems concerns over inflation have infiltrated every economic news headline here at home. With so many factors influencing the American economy – from post-pandemic stress to geopolitical sanctions – it’s difficult to assess exactly how we got into this situation.

That is to say there’s a lot going on here with plenty of players, plays, and possibilities to take into consideration. Inflation is a complex issue with many economic implications. Everything from production costs to exchange rates, wage growth to war fallout, factor into the equation.

The easiest way to explain it here in the U.S. would be to look at the enormous amounts of stimulus injected into the economy the last two years. That devalued the dollar and exacerbated labor issues – two major results that can’t be ignored.

But that’s hardly the only things we need to consider when inflation is extending far beyond our shores. With global supply chain issues, surging demand, and even global agricultural deficits dominating certain geographies, America isn’t even experiencing the worst of it anymore.

Consider what I mentioned yesterday: how the U.K.’s annual rate of inflation jumped to a forty-year high of 9%. That’s the largest level recorded by an industrialized nation since inflation increases kicked off last year.

The Wall Street Journal writes:

“[U.K.] consumer prices in April were 9% higher than a year earlier, a jump from 7% in March and the highest inflation rate since March 1982, the Office for National Statistics said. The pace is now the highest recorded by one of the Group of Seven rich economies in about a year.

“The pace is also above the 8.5% annual rate of inflation recorded by the U.S. in March, which had been the sharpest rise since the global inflation surge began with the reopening of many economies in early 2021 as the pandemic eased.”

And Germany and France are also experiencing similar trajectories.

So what gives?

Well, yesterday we discussed how signs of increased retail activity have shown we’re still a ways from peak inflation. I know that’s not what you want to hear once, much less twice. But that’s the entirely analytical conclusion I’ve reached all the same.

If I could give you one key piece of advice to help protect you from this global predicament, it would be to invest in yourself. Get educated on the stock market and learn new skills to inflation-proof your income.

That should set you up for financial success… and even give you back the sense of agency you might be losing amidst all this uncertainty.

More Non-REIT News to Know About 

Martin Shkreli – aka the Pharma Bro, who hiked up prices for HIV medication Daraprim by over 4,000% in 2015 – appears to be free from the pen as of yesterday.

Shkreli was serving a seven-year federal prison sentence for several counts of securities fraud. But how time flies, as he was seen in the backseat of a buddy’s car via a viral tweet yesterday morning.

Twitter user Edmond Sullivan shared a selfie with the infamous hedge fund manager captioned, “Picked up this guy hitchhiking. Says he’s famous.”

Later, Shkreli took to Facebook with his own solo selfie and caption: “Getting out of real prison is easier than getting out of Twitter prison.”

So what can we expect from a man who was once the biggest villain of the investment world? Will Elon Musk grant him freedom in the Twittersphere, or will he be silenced into obscurity?

For that matter, will Elon Musk still purchase Twitter (TWTR) at all?

Only time will tell.

The World According to REITs 

Getting back to that abominable “I” word…

All this talk of global inflation has me even more focused on putting real estate investment trusts (REITs) to good use. That includes, of course, big data handlers like the ones below…

American Tower

American Tower (AMT) is an owner and operator of wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure. But these days, it seems to be running on a totally different ticker trajectory than many other communications stocks.

With a six-point gain in the last five days, this worldwide cellular tower REIT is looking to be as resilient an asset as you can get in this economy. In Q1, it saw a total revenue increase of 23.2%, a net income increase of 7.7%, and a property revenue increase of 22.1%.

Clearly, communication is as important as ever in 2022.

Iron Mountain

You may know Iron Mountain (IRM) for its shredding services, but this unique company is also one of the world’s foremost data-center REITs. As such, it has unmatched scale in the data storage game and a market value upwards of $12 billion.

May’s market decline was no match for Iron Mountain either so far. Iron Mountain has gained nearly 20% since March, boasting a first-quarter net income of $41.7 million. With a 5.4% dividend yield, this REIT can also be a great way to pad your wallet with a little passive income.

Just, as always, make sure you’re getting in at a reasonable price. No matter how heavy-hitting a company can be, it’s almost never worth overpaying for.

Brad Thomas is the Editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide information to interested parties. ...

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