May 25, 2010
Most economists agree that the United States is girding for a bout with inflation. And the prevailing wisdom is that when greenbacks are cheap, investors should look to hard assets such as oil and gold, or consumer-goods brands, which continue to command premium prices in good times and bad.
But before you start trading in precious metals or picking up shares of ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) or PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP ) , Buck Hartzell, The Motley Fool's director of Analyst Learning, thinks there might be a better place for your money right now: insurers.
It may not sound sexy, but with interest rates still suppressed and homebuilding sluggish, insurance companies have been taking it on the chin, and many are trading well below book value. As home-starts pick up and borrowing rates rise -- as they inevitably will -- insurance companies such as Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A ) (NYSE: BRK-B ) and Markel (NYSE: MKL ) should see their interest income rise as well. And that'll mean their stock prices will jump -- for joy.
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