Going Postal

Postage prices are going up -- again -- so take this unorthodox advice and buy reams of nondenominational stamps

Postage prices are slated to rise AGAIN on May 11 -- before they do, take advantage of the only truly safe investment you will make this year.

In "The Graduate," a party-goer leans in with financial advice for young Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman. Doling out stock market advice, the guy intones one word: "Plastics." Well, listen closely. I’ve got the post-"Graduate" version of a can't-miss investment: "Postage stamps."

The United States Post Office will raise the price of a stamp to 44 cents on May 11. The smart investor will be buying up Forever Stamps. These are postage stamps marked with no price value. Buy them at the current rate of 42 cents, and they’re still good after May 11.

Granted, hardly anybody sends letters via snail mail anymore -- especially since Al Gore invented the Internet. Regular letter writers are probably old enough to remember when stamps cost less than a nickel. It was 1958 when the price jumped to 4 cents, after it had held at 3 cents for the previous 95 years. The price of postage has now risen each year since 2006.
The Barenaked Ladies sing a song called "If I Had a Million Dollars." To that thought, if I had that much loot, I would buy 2,380,952 postage stamps. On May 12, my investment would turn a cool $47,619 profit. That would stimulate my personal economy. Of course, if the USPS goes bankrupt -- it lost more than a billion dollars last year -- I’m theoretically screwed.

Ron Donoho, formerly executive editor of "San Diego Magazine," is a regular contributor to NBCSandiego.com who covers local news, sports, culture and happy hours.

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