An announcement about a huge hike in the cost of posting a letter seems imminent, with charges for a second class letter going up to around 55 pence and first class possibly exceeding 70 pence. This will see postal charges going up by more than 50%.
It is possible that in the run-up to the change date, which is likely to be some time in April, stamps marked with the current postage prices will be issued. This will make them individually unusable following the change as they will not indicate the correct amount of postage.
However, at present it is possible to buy first and second class stamps labelled just with the class, not the value. These stamps are likely to be usable after the price hike, as they will still show a specific postage class.
As the price increase becomes public knowledge people will realise the benefit of investing in stamps marked as first or second class now. Following the increase they are likely to be worth at least 50% above their purchase price. A shortage of class-marked stamps is likely to follow.
At present Ofcom, who are now responsible for overseeing the Royal Mail, are deciding whether the price increases will be allowed, so it is possible that the increase may be reduced. But all the indications are that a significant uplift is around the corner, particularly given that the Royal Mail claims to make a massive loss on all letter postage.
As a benefit to businesses, it seems likely that franked mail will not go up, certainly not in line with the stamp price rises, so the big increases seem to be aimed at ordinary people sending the odd birthday card and anyone selling a few bits on eBay.
So if you do decide to invest in a few stamps and save a few bob, don't forget where you saw it first. Move over Martin Lewis - The Spoof is in town.
Investment advice of this type is never foolproof, and any investment involves risk. However, if you do decide to invest in postage stamps and it all goes horribly wrong, simply write to the Financial Services Authority explaining that you took financial advice from a website called TheSpoof.com.