What would you think of an investment with the following characteristics:
1. Almost 3% average annualized return on your investment
3. Short term or long term investment: your choice
4. Guaranteed by the United States Government
5. No minimum investment
6. An easily transferable bearer investment with no registration required
7. The investment will never go down in value
Can you guess what this investment is? It's the Forever Stamp, the stamp issued by the US Post Office is used to purchase one ounce of postage, no matter how high the price of postage rises, even if the postage rate rises to $20 per ounce. This price of first class postage just went up on January 22 from 44 cents to 45 cents. It was only bumped up by a penny but it still works out to a 2.1% increase.
Postage was 39 cents an ounce in January of 2007. If you look at the increase in the cost for one ounce of first class postage over the last five years, it works out to an average annual increase of 2.9%.
You can still buy these stamps and take advantage of this 'investment'. Over the long term, with inflation inevitable, postage rates will continue to increase. If you still pay a lot of bills by mail, or you own a small company that does a lot of mass mail-outs, or you are part of a club or group that sends out printed monthly newsletters, then maybe it would be worthwhile to buy some of these stamps.