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Monday, November 24, 2008

Deflation "Grows" Your Existing Debt

In a recent column in the Globe and Mail, Avner Mandelman points out that we're likely in deflationary times. In normal times of inflation, money slowly loses its value as it gets diluted. If you're in a negative monetary position ie. carrying debt, inflation will slowly make the debt less and less significant while your wages likely rise as well. During deflation, the opposite occurs. Your debt becomes more and more significant as your wages likely sit flat or possibly decline. On top of all that, the stuff you bought with the borrowed money is likely to be dropping in value too, faster than just the usual depreciation. I'm a big proponent of retiring your personal debt quickly, but in times of deflation I can't emphasize this enough.

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