Terry Savage

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Here's a question I received many times Wednesday afternoon after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke: What did he say -- and what does it mean to me?

Judging by the number of words it took the Fed chairman to get his message across in his first live press conference after a Fed meeting, it's no wonder you might be a little confused.

Bernanke said the Fed would end its excessive money printing on schedule at the end of the second quarter -- and might even start tightening up a bit over the summer. The Fed expects inflation to be just below 3 percent, as a result of rising oil prices, and "core" inflation -- without food and energy (for those who can live without food or energy) to be only about 1.5 percent. Bernanke was only slightly optimistic about unemployment, which he said would likely stay in a range of 8.4 to 8.7 percent.

But the markets weren't confused. They believe higher inflation is on the way as a result of all the recent money and credit creation. That fear continues to push gold up, to a dramatic new high of $1,527 an ounce, while the dollar fell to a new three-year low.

Why were stocks up? A lot of the money being created has also moved into stocks.

The S&P 500 stock index is up about 30 percent since the Fed started its QE2 move to ease and create credit. There's an old rule in the stock market: Don't fight the Fed.

And that's The Savage Truth.

Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser and is on the board of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She appears weekly on WMAQ-Channel 5's 4:30 p.m. newscast, and can be reached at www.terrysavage.com. She is the author of the new book, "The New Savage Number: How Much Money Do You Really Need to Retire?"

To find out more about Terry Savage and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.


Terry Savage

Terry Savage is a nationally known expert on personal finance and a regular television commentator on CNN, CNBC, PBS, and NBC on issues related to investing and financial markets.

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