More of the same: as a result of Hurricane Ike, gas prices are up on average of $0.12 per gallon nationally. CNN reports prices spiking above $5/gallon in some places.
Although the full damage probably won’t be known for a few days, oil prices are actually down slightly on expectations that the Gulf Coast refineries weren’t damaged as much as they could have been. In fact, in a special Sunday trading session, oil has dropped below $100/barrel.
Of course, $100/barrel is still 60% more than it was a year ago! Oil prices will go up. Oil prices will go down. But they’ll go up more than they’ll go down. And natural gas prices will continue to climb.
Thrill seekers can ride this roller coaster. But smart investors will change the game entirely and look for a smoother ride. Investing in energy-efficiency in your home builds value that you can hold onto and shields you from the high risks of volatile and climbing energy prices. If prices hold steady (or even if they drop), you the save money you otherwise be shipping out to the utility or oil company. If prices spike, you’re protected even further.
If you’re the thrill seeking type, with the money you save on your energy bills, you can buy a hang glider.