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Russ you have identified exactly what I am wanting - I want to "invest" my money for 3 or maybe 4 years in something so that if the S&P500 tanks, I can use the bond money rather then equity money. Then hopefully after 3 or 4 years the S&P will be back up and I am not taking funds out of a depressed market.

I could bury the money in the back yard or use money markets - but the books I have read say bonds -- well I am just trying to understand what bonds.

The only thing I could see that would satisfy the issue (protection against down markets) without someother greater risk (like Enron) were laddered TIPS or notes. I was trolling for some other bond type vehicles that might accomplish to same goal.

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