Elon Musk Recommends Investing In 'Physical Things' - Here Are 3 Physical Assets That Perform Well During High Inflation

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Tesla Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk posted in a thread on Twitter TWTR in March, after inflation hit a 40-year high for the first time this year, advising followers to own “physical things” when inflation is high.

In the tweet, Musk said “As a general principle, for those looking for advice from this thread, it is generally better to own physical things like a home or stock in companies you think make good products, than dollars when inflation is high.

I still own & won’t sell my Bitcoin, Ethereum or Doge fwiw.”

The biggest takeaway for some followers seems to have been that Musk is still holding his Dogecoin DOGE/USD because the cryptocurrency’s price saw a temporary spike shortly after the tweet.

However, the more important point to Musk’s message is that physical assets are generally the safest investment during times of high inflation. This message coming from the “Dogefather” himself should speak volumes.

With the unexpected news of the 8.6% rise in the Consumer Price Index for May after April’s data suggested inflation was beginning to cool off, it's becoming increasingly important for investors to consider diversifying their portfolios with physical assets. Here are three that have historically performed well during periods of high inflation.

Real Estate

While Musk referenced owning a home, real estate, in general, performs well for investors during years of high inflation. Specifically, single-family homes, multifamily, self-storage and farmland.

Running out to buy a property may not be the most feasible option for most investors right now, but luckily there are options available to buy shares of fractionalized real estate.

Investors can buy shares of rental properties for as little as $100, or invest in build-to-rent communities and large-scale multifamily developments in some of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

There are also real estate funds with low minimum investments that offer exposure to a diversified portfolio of properties, including single-family rentals, multifamily and commercial properties.

Fine Art

Art has been a popular method of storing wealth for generations, which is no surprise considering that it has outperformed the S&P 500 for the past 25 years and appreciates at an average rate of 23.2% in years where inflation is at least 3%.

This type of investment used to be available only to the ultra-wealthy. However, retail investors now have options to buy shares of valuable works or invest in art funds.


The Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 index has performed quite well this year as inflation has been soaring. The index, which tracks 1,000 wines from across the world, is up 10.3% year-to-date and 25.6% over the past 12 months. 

Retail investors have gained access to this market by purchasing securitized fractions of wine collections, as well as by buying and selling individual bottles through investment platforms.

This article was originally published on March 15, 2022, and updated on June 10, 2022, to reflect current consumer price index data and information on physical assets.

Photo: Courtesy of Heisenberg Media via Flickr

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