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Interesting column from CBS MarketWatch.

Some investment losses are unavoidable, but not this one. This one is a lock. Just take some money from your pocket and throw it away. In football terms, this isn’t playing defense. This is taking a safety. Give up points.

Tom Atteberry, manager of the FPA New Income /quotes/comstock/10r!fpnix FPNIX 0.00% bond fund, thinks it’s absurd. “I struggle with why someone would accept a negative real return on their money,” he told me. “If you look at history, owning a 5-year Treasury, my real return should be somewhere in the 2% to 2.5% range.”

The real story on TIPS may be even worse. “That real yield is based on a manipulated statistic, the CPI,” according to Josh Strauss, co-manager of the Appleseed Fund /quotes/comstock/10r!applx APPLX -1.39% . For most people, day-to-day costs are rising faster than the official Consumer Price Index.


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