Skip to main content

Investment TIPS to Care About


Back in 1997, the U.S. government issued Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), which are backed by the credit and full faith of the government and guarantees that their value will not be eroded by inflation; thus, providing risk-free asset for investors in the U.S.

Both TIPS face value and coupon payments are indexed to keep up with inflation and to protect buying power, while their returns are set in real inflation-adjusted terms.

Under positive inflation (versus deflation) conditions, actual returns are below the nominal gains quoted on traditional (without inflation adjustment) bonds. Estimating for the real interest rate, we get:

real interest rate = nominal interest rate - expected inflation rate

Or, to be more exact, the actual formula using these variables will be:

(1 + nominal interest rate) = (1+ real interest rate) * (1 + expected inflation rate)

We determine nominal interest rates by adding the compensation expected to keep up with inflation and a real interest rate of return for the investment. Surely, bond prices and interest rates can be impacted by supply and demand. And real interest rates may take a negative value, as mentioned above.

Of course, investors hope for a positive nominal return on investment (the very reason for investing, obviously); however, the gain might not catch up with the inflation rate. TIPS, compared to conventional bonds, provide returns which are quoted as real interest rates.

TIPS nominal returns cannot be predicted in advance since they are determined by the actual inflation experienced. It also follows that nominal returns can be determined for conventional bonds; however, their real returns can only be determined after monitoring the realized inflation track until the maturity date.

Adjustments of inflation for TIPS are set to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). Such adjustments are observed according to the “accrued principal,” a dedicated term used for TIPS.

Accrued principal is the value after due adjustment for inflation of the original face value at the time the TIPS was issued. Inflation adjustments for TIPS are achieved through the coupon rate being paid on the accrued principal value, not on the value of the nominal initial face.

Likewise, during maturity, the investor gets back the accrued principal, not the nominal face amount. An inflation-adjusted value is paid at a real coupon rate and an inflation-adjusted value is paid at maturity.

During deflation, the accrued principal can go down; however, it is protected against dipping below its original par value. What this signifies is that TIPS on the secondary markets having lower accumulated principal can provide higher protection during deflation, considering all other factors unchanged.

On the other hand, deflation that is not substantial enough to make the accrued principal to drop below its original par value will adversely affect TIPS in relation to conventional bonds. As a general rule, the goal of TIPS is to protect investments from unpredictably high inflation; thus, acquiring TIPS with a lower relative accrued principal is a supplementary factor in selecting certain TIPS to buy.

TIPS are available in nominal dollars. The ask price for TIPS on the secondary market is set in real terms, quoted as a percentage value of the accrued principal after adjustment for inflation. The actual price paid is computed as the ask price multiplied by the accrued principal, then divided by 100.

Since 1997, TIPS bonds and notes have been issued. From that time until the middle of 2002, every TIPS auction covering different maturities yielded an initial real return over 3%.

Fortunate investors in 1998 and 1999 could have acquired 30-year TIPS giving almost 4%, while 10- and 20-year TIPS gains were more than 4% in 1999 and 2000. TIPS yields have dropped since then.

A TIPS auction for a five–year note conducted in October 2010 made news as the real yield dropped below zero (at negative 0.55%) only for the first time. Buyers of such issues have resigned themselves to returns not protected from inflation.

Although unusual then, negative returns for TIPS have recently become a more common occurrence nowadays.

Popular posts from this blog

Bellmore Group Management Services, Tokyo Japan’s Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy governs the manner in which Bellmore Group collects, uses, maintains and discloses information collected from users (each, a "User") of the website ("Site"). This Privacy Policy applies to the Site and all products and services offered by Bellmore Group . 1. Personal and Non-personal Identification Information We may collect personal identification information from Users in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, when Users visit our site, place an order, fill out a form, and in connection with other activities, services, features or resources we make available on our Site. Users may be asked for, as appropriate, name, email address, mailing address, phone number. Users may, however, visit our Site anonymously. We will collect personal identification information from Users only if they voluntarily submit such information to us. Users can always refuse to supply personally identification information, except that it may prevent them fr

Key Sectors at Bellmore Group Management Services, Tokyo Japan

Investing in Futures & Commodities Futures and commodities investments provide investors with more intricate financial requirements a means to hopefully gain from both the upward and downward movement of commodity and financial markets . Basics of Futures & Commodities Investing Futures and commodities speculators can benefit from greatly leveraged exposures in both financial and non-financial markets (commodities such as energies, meats, metals and grains). Hence, they can buy futures contracts by depositing even a little portion of the total contract price. Their aim is to gain from movements in the value of the futures contract. Hedgers, those who hold a particular commodity (asset) or have a definite investment (such as energy cost), frequently choose a position opposite of the cash market to help lessen the risk of falling or rising commodity prices. Risk of Investing in Futures & Commodities Since futures and commodities markets can be ext

Make Your Investing Resolutions Reality in 2018

These six New Year's resolutions will give your investment portfolio a boost in 2018, deliver long-lasting rewards and require neither spandex nor excessive amounts of kale. It’ll be nearly impossible to find an open treadmill at your local gym come January. By March? Everything’s back to normal again. Welcome to the season of good intentions. Many people will start 2018 with a New Year’s resolution like exercising more or losing weight, only to abandon it within weeks. Sound familiar? Even if you haven’t succeeded in the past, 2018 can be different. (No, really!) If you’re unsure where to begin and would like to start with some quick wins, how about your investment portfolio? Investing resolutions can reap long-lasting rewards and require neither spandex nor excessive amounts of kale. Pick and choose from the following investing resolutions, or go ahead and tackle the entire list. Save more (and invest it) Spending less and saving more is a noble reso