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Death by deflation

The eroding effects of inflation have given it the well-deserved title of 'silent killer'. But with deflation now so widespread across the world, can it be equally dangerous, asks Claire Bennison

19 February 2015

The eroding effects of inflation have given it the well-deserved title of 'silent killer'. But with deflation now so widespread across the world, can it be equally dangerous, asks Claire Bennison

In the investment world, inflation is often referred to as a 'silent killer'. It is defined as an increase in the general price level (i.e. goods and services becoming more expensive over a certain time period). But why is it recognised as a silent killer?

If we look at retirement savings as an example, an investor saves and invests to gain a return they hope will meet future objectives and expenditure needs. However, if inflation is hard to forecast and the outlook is uncertain, investors find it difficult to ensure that their future purchasing power isn't significantly harmed. This is one of the reasons invest...

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