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Hi, I might make a fool out of myself with this question, but whatever... as a member of fool.com I can afford that.

I am looking for someone to help me understand the risk free rate. I assume that a 10-year treasury note is a risk free rate. Today it's at around 2.9%. Lets assume that it makes sense to put my money in the risk free asset, a 10 year treasury. To make it more liquid, I decide to buy a 7-10year US treasury ETF. Looking at the performance of such ETF, I see that it is -7% this year, although the 10-year treasury went from 1.6% to 2.9% today (YTD).

Does that mean that last years real risk free rate (including inflation and ETF fees) was -7%? Or... please let me know what am I doing wrong? I would like to find out the mechanism of finding out today's real risk-free interest rate. Maybe a 7-10 year treasury ETF is not the right product...

Thanks,
Tom
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