With all the doom and gloom talk about the economy, especially on “CBS Evening News,” anchor Katie Couric touted a “safer investment” on February 11.
Couric’s magic bullet was a sure thing – unlike trading in a booming Asian stock market, speculating on the price of oil or gold or gambling in
“And are you looking for a safer investment than the stock market these days?” Couric asked. “Well, how about postage stamps? The post office announced today the cost of first class postage is going up a penny in May to 42 cents. So if you buy one of those Forever Stamps now for 41 cents, it’ll be worth 42 in May. Return on your investment, 2.4 percent tax free.”
Yes, Couric recommended investing in the “Forever Stamp.” The “Forever Stamp” is offered by the U.S. Postal Service, and costs the same price as a first-class postage stamp, but is always good for first-class postage, regardless of any increase in postal fees. Couric’s suggestion implied flipping those stamps when the postage rate goes up to 42 cents on May 12 for a penny-per-stamp profit.
So, if you bought 100 "Forever Stamps" before the price increase in May, you would save an entire dollar on that postage.
The only problem with that ‘2.4 percent’ return Couric mentioned is that the post office won’t be giving you a penny back each time you use a “Forever Stamp.” Not exactly a sound retirement strategy.
While a guaranteed 2.4 percent return wouldn’t be bad, it’s less than other safe investment options. For example, the yield on a one-year certificate of deposit at many banks has a higher return of 3.5 percent, according to BankRate.com.