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Investing in Physical Assets

Inflation often coincides with rises in the prices of these assets. An economic expansion tends to fuel consumer-price growth as well as demand for floor space and transport or energy infrastructure. Inflation is typically bad news for mainstream assets such as stocks and bonds, because it reduces the present value of future earnings and coupons. Yet this is where, after a decade of slow growth and sluggish inflation, investors have parked much of their trillions. Do physical assets offer investors refuge from inflation?

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