Now that inflation has reared its ugly head, how can investors protect themselves against the ravages of inflation?
Back in 1977, Fama and Schwert showed that housing acted as a hedge against inflation. Over the past year as inflation has reached its highest levels in 40 years, home prices have outpaced inflation by 19.08% to 6.8%.
How about real estate investment trusts? The NAREIT all-equity index rose by 35.6% YoY while inflation rose at 6.8%. The S&P 500 index rose 28.9% YoY.
Of course, the NAREIT all-equity index has a beta of 1.276.
How about the NCREIF All-property commercial real estate index? For Q3, the NCREIF property index rose by 5.22%, less than the most recent inflation reading of 6.8%.
So for the past year, housing has beaten the pants-off inflation, REITs have earned a higher return than inflation, and the NCREIF index seems to be rising slower than inflation (but with its lag problems, I anxiously await the Q4 numbers which should be higher.