Don't Buy Forever Stamps As An "Investment"

By law, “Forever Stamps” won’t save you any money if you’re planning on hoarding them for all eternity, says Slate.

In December, President Bush signed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which ensures that future price increases will be kept below an inflation-based ceiling. In other words, postage hikes will never surpass inflation–and the forever stamp will never become a good investment. Incidentally, the USPS announced the introduction of the forever stamp less than two months after Bush signed the act into law.


Since 1971, postal rates have increased more slowly than the actual inflation rate, as measured by the U.S. Consumer Price Index. So, despite the numerous rate hikes over the last 36 years, stamps have actually been getting cheaper. The 20-cent stamp from 1981, for instance, would be equivalent to 45 cents in today’s dollars–which makes today’s rate 10 percent cheaper than it was 26 years ago. Should this historical pattern hold, you’d be paying more for today’s forever stamps than you would for any stamp in the future, no matter how high the rate goes.

So, unless you’re into hardcore philately, don’t buy forever stamps. — BEN POPKEN

Should I Invest in “Forever” Stamps?Absolutely not. [Slate] (Thanks to Lyn!)