Formerly known as Rhodesia, Zimbabwe’s current population of 16 million (1.5 million in its capital of Harare) watched this week as Robert Mugabe, after 37 years in power, left the ruling government. During his reign, the value of cash became crystal clear. When I visited there, I obtained a 50 billion dollar bill. In 2008, the value of that bill had devalued to the equivalent of 40 Canadian cents!
Thus, as real estate in Vancouver has posted steady gains over the decades, values of currency can fluctuate wildly. Cash might be considered king, but real estate can provide a more conservative investment vehicle.
The reason I have a 50 billion dollar note is the massive hyperinflation which began in the late 1990’s. At its peak, inflation was at 79.6 billion percent in November 2008. Following this, their currency was replaced primarily by the US dollar and other currencies. Thus when I was there, the bills being utilized were US dollars and the change was in South African rand.
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