Should you stick your money in a bank at 0.1% so they can lend it back to the public at 6% for mortgages, and 8% for car loans, and 14% for people using credit cards to pay utilities and for food. Maybe you can out smart the investment bankers at their own game and play the stock market? Sure, if you can afford to make trades large enough to offset the transaction costs, this can be a viable strategy if you can stomach the losses when things go bad.
But what about those with only a few hundred dollar a month, or only $20 per week, or $2 per paycheck to save for a rainy day? Wall street will eat them alive. I suggest hoarding nickels.
US five cent coins contain over 7 cents worth of raw material as of this afternoon, mostly copper and of course, nickel. If there is inflation, the prices of metal will increase, and the coin will have 8, 9, 10 cents worth of metal. Pre-1965 dimes contain over $2.42 of metal today, while pre-1965 quarters have over $6 worth of metal. (www.coinflation.com)
If there is deflation, the coins are still currency at face value. They will always be nickels. There is also no transaction cost for "buying" these coins. Just save them as you get them from change, or pick up $2 rolls at local banks.
If you need to "cash out", return the rolls to the bank, or use them as bullion if newer "cheap nickels" are circulated in the future. Some shady banks refuse coins, Bastards! Don't worry, most mom and pop shops will take them off your hands, and it is your right to use them as legal tender to pay debts, public or private.
If coins are too heavy for you, try "forever stamps" sold by the United States Postal Service for 44 cents. These stamps are good for one first class letter no matter what the price of a stamp in the future. They were first sold for 41 cents on April 12 2007.
If you had invested 100 dollars into the Sp500 on the same day of the first "Forever Stamp" after re-investing dividends you would be DOWN 1.3%, and down more after any broker fees and taxes on the dividends. If you put $100 into forever stamps, you are UP over 7%. (Based on investment in SPY)
And just a reminder for everyone: Join a Credit Union, and Quit Funding Wall Street Bonuses With Your Savings!!!