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
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
Buck Hartzell owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Markel, which are both Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Berkshire Hathaway is also a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick, and the Fool owns shares. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on PepsiCo, which is also a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.