Mark Koch

Mar 26 2018

Wealth Management Spotlight: Inflation


Investing in stocks can be a risky endeavor – especially if you’re worried about volatility. The real risk, however, in a retirement portfolio is the silent killer called inflation.

Learn more about inflation and retirement planning:

Today I want to share with you some key considerations regarding risk and the impact of inflation. Sure, stocks have their share of good years and bad, and that volatility can be a very difficult thing to bear but what can really harm a portfolio over time is the erosion of purchasing power due to inflation.

Let’s assume we have an un-invested cash balance of $100,000 and inflation runs at 3% annually. After only five years, that cash balance is now worth only $85,873. And after 20 years, that $100,000 is just $54,379. In other words, it has lost nearly half of its original value. Every investor must consider that if their portfolio is invested too conservatively it may not produce enough return to outpace inflation.

We live in an era now where the 10 year Treasury note is yielding near historic lows. This has forced many investors to take on additional risk vis-à-vis stocks to achieve returns similar to the 1980s and 1990s. Consider if your portfolio of fixed income (or bonds) produces a return of 4% annually, inflation may cut that return down to just a 2% real return. For the long-term investor, your best hedge against the negative impact of inflation is to have a reasonable exposure to stocks that fits your risk tolerance.

For more tips, or if you have any questions about the benefits of working with Hills Bank Trust and Wealth Management on your retirement plan, feel free to leave them in the comments below or visit us at

Some trust products and IRA contributions/balances are not a deposit, not FDIC insured by any federal government agency, not guaranteed by the bank, and may go down in value.
Mark Koch

About Mark Koch

Mark Koch is Vice President, Wealth Management Officer at Hills Bank’s North Liberty location on Forevergreen Rd. Mark’s background and focus is in wealth management, retirement planning for individuals, and administering portfolios for not-for-profit organizations. Mark is a member of the Hills Bank Trust and Wealth Management Investment Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa, having earned a BBA with a double-major in Finance and Management Information Systems and an MBA with a concentration in Finance. Prior to working for Hills Bank, Mark managed a $2 billion+ portfolio of fixed income securities for a global insurance company. Mark can be reached at

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