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|Subject: TIPS: To Protect Yourself||Date: 12/7/2008 8:54 PM|
|Author: loveoldcars||Number: 25258 of 35576|
MIS-PRICED ASSET - TIPS
In all of the Treasury market nuttiness, there are Treasury securities which have been completely mis-priced. These securities are Treasury Inflation Protected Securities or TIPS. The interest and principal on these securities are indexed to the U.S. Consumer Price Index or CPI.
TIPS have become mis-priced because liquidity has fled the TIPS market, just as liquidity has fled from the equity markets. After all, why would anyone want to own TIPS when everyone “knows” that deflation is here to stay and inflation is dead forever, right?
Wrong! For reasons stated earlier, I believe we will see a mass conflagration of the funds that are currently rushing into Treasury securities at zero or one per cent because of liquidity concerns. And once again, we will see that the conventional Wall Street wisdom will be proven incorrect.
I don't believe we will ever see massive deflation in this country. I believe that the only possibility of deflation in the US would be if we truly see 1930s conditions – where the US GDP collapsed by 50% in nominal terms and unemployment rates were at 25% and corporate defaults were in the 15% range. Sorry, that scenario is not in the cards. What is much more likely is a return of inflation.
An investor can buy an individual TIPS bond, but with the current lack of liquidity the spread between the bid and asked of such securities is unusually large. A better choice may be an ETF which invests in TIPS securities.
Currently, investors have two choices for TIPS ETFs. They are SPDR Barclays Capital TIPS ETF with the symbol IPE and the iShares Lehman TIPS Bond Fund with the symbol TIP.
Both ETFs have many similarities – both ETFs have very low expense fees, both ETFs are down between 7% and 8% for the year, and both