TIPS is short for Treasury Inflation Protected Securities. TIPS are government bonds that have their principal indexed to inflation. The coupon rate remains unchanged, but as the principal adjusts according to the rate of inflation, the actual interest payment--which is paid twice per year--changes. In this way, the owner of Treasury inflation protected securities is shielded from the erosive effects of inflation. While the principal is adjusted upwards in inflationary conditions, it does not fall below its original amount, even in deflation. TIPS interest is exempt from state and local taxes, but is subject to federal tax. TIPS are issued in 5, 10 and 30 year maturities and can be purchased direct through a Treasury auction or in the secondary market. It is important to note that the consumer price index (CPI) is the inflation benchmark used to adjust TIPS principal.

Moshe Milevsky Discusses Tontines for the 21st Century

Moshe Milevsky is an Associate Professor in Finance at the Schulich School of Business at York University, and he is one of the world’s leading authorities on retirement income.  Professor Milevsky recently published and presented an...

Are Inflation Adjusted Annuities Worth the Cost?

Inflation protection for fixed annuities would seem to be a sensible consideration given the fact that central banks around the world are doing everything they can to reflate in the wake of an historic deleveraging.

After all, the worst possible place to be if and when inflation does kick-in is on the receiving end of nominal (not adjusted for inflation) fixed payments, and most fixed annuities fit this description perfectly.

While the inflation protection makes sense in theory, it turns-out that inflation-protected annuities may not be so sensible in practice...

Why Warren Buffett's Prescription Will Not Work for Retirees

In a Fortune article titled “Why Stocks Beat Gold and Bonds,” Warren Buffett provides a glimpse of his upcoming shareholder letter.

While Buffett’s advice is perfect for investors who have a long-term perspective, anyone near or in retirement may want to think twice about acting on the prescription.

The core of Buffett’s advice is as follows:

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A Benchmark for Lifetime Income

The world is filled with investing indexes and benchmarks, and all professional investment managers measure their results relative to some type of performance standard such as the S&P 500.

On the retirement...

Q&A with Zvi Bodie and Rachelle Taqqu about Risk Less and Prosper’s Goal-Driven Approach to Investing

Is there a sense of “swimming upstream” when trying to propagate goal-based investing--as described in your new book Risk Less and Prosper--among existing financial advisors? Conventional practices and economic incentives are so heavily skewed towards modern portfolio...