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if you are interested in leanring about a protected fund (also known as a MITT) oick up a copy of Money magazine and flip to the last page.
Basics- you buy into a fund for ~10$ a share- 7 of that goes into a bond and the other 3 goes into an index fund. When the certain tiome period is up, if the market grew then you get 85% of that gain and the company gets 15%, but if the market goes down then you still get your initial 10$ back. Minimally you break even.

Caveat: dealing with quarterly taxes. I guess that if the market soars one quarter and then loses huge the next you might lose in taxes...however if the savings has a set purpose (close to retiement age, close to college age, close to buying a home) the safety of not losing money and having a shot to gain alot is pretty tempting. As always do your own research and make an educated choice.

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