TIPS: Great, or Terrible?

Min Zeng, on page C2 of today’s WSJ:

With oil prices above $100 a barrel and countries from China to the U.S. reporting sharp gains in consumer prices, now may be the time to buy inflation-protected securities.

Big bond investors, including Pacific Investment Management Co. and American Century Investments, favor buying Treasury inflation-protected securities, or TIPS, which will outperform their euro-zone counterparts, as the Federal Reserve’s hefty rate cuts fuel inflation pressures.

Brett Arends, on page D4 of today’s WSJ:

Inflation’s a big risk to your savings. But inflation-protected bonds are an even bigger risk these days…

As fresh data showed yesterday, consumer prices are rising faster than expected, even while the economy sags. Many investors, and their financial planners, are reacting to the danger by rushing into what they think is a safe haven: Treasury inflation-protected securities or TIPS.

It’s a bad move.

The bidding frenzy has sent TIPS prices soaring. The bonds have become wildly overvalued and now offer a terrible long-term bet.

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