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Thank you both! I keep reading and re-reading, and parts soak in a little better each time <g>. Looking at the Treasury Direct FAQs, on using Buy Direct, it says to 'choose the security's issue date.' Ok, if I wanted to buy a 5 year TIPS today, would I have to choose the April issue date? If I wanted to buy a 10 year TIPS, where the auction was just completed, could I specify 1/16/06 as the issue date, or do I suddenly get thrown into the secondary market? I guess what it boils down to is that aside from gambling that I know the inflation rate better (hah!), how can I even find out what the coupon rate is before I commit to a buy? Timing of a buy still eludes me, apparently. <g>.

I do appreciate that last statement in the FAQ about determining the rate I need ABOVE inflation on a fixed-income investment. That takes the gamble out of the choice, if I simply want to get something specific above inflation.

Oh, and I live in Wyoming, so no state or local taxes to take into account (which keeps this a little simpler.)

I'll keep mulling this over...
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