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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-15-2004, 10:44 PM   #21
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

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I read a lot about TIPS and BONDS on this forum but really do not understand how to hold them or buy them into a portfolio, from whom, where and when I would want to buy them. The Government Sites talks about Auctions of Bonds etc. Hence why I am comfortable with CD's for now.
Since you're very risk averse, TIPS might be your best bet. You've eliminated volatility by buying CDs, but you're exposed to inflation risk.

The next TIPS auctions are in July. The 10-year will be on sale July 8, and the new 20-year issue goes on sale July 27.

Individual investors don't bid in the auction -- you just place an order and you get whatever the market rate is at the time of the auction. I'll be buying some 20-year TIPS at the next one.

I described my first time through the process is this thread:

http://early-retirement.org/cgi-bin/...27004;start=14
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-16-2004, 02:33 PM   #22
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

All:

It appears that the general opinion is TIPS. Has anyone got the any stats on say the last 2 years of TIP base rates (annual) and inflation rates (6 monthly)?

SWR
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-16-2004, 02:50 PM   #23
 
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

I think the concept of TIPS makes a lot of sense.
I even think someone with my investment mindset
is well suited to this type of investment. Yet, I hold none
and have no plans to. My theory is that I fall back on
familiar stuff so that I won't have to research
anything unfamiliar (lazy). BTW, if any of you are thinking that means I would rather take the easy way out
than study up and make more money long term, you are
exactly right.

John Galt
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-16-2004, 11:15 PM   #24
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

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Has anyone got the any stats on say the last 2 years of TIP base rates (annual) and inflation rates (6 monthly)?
The treasury maintains daily yield curve data that goes back about 18 months here:
http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/domes...ield-hist.html

Historical treasury auction data going back to 1980 is here:
http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/of/ofaicqry.htm

The semi-annual CPI-U data is the same as that used for i-bonds here:
http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/sav/sbirate2.htm
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 07:07 AM   #25
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

OK Based on the I Bond Rates. For Today (May) If I purchased some, I would get 1% fixed and 1.19% interest. I have some 2.675% CDs how do they differ

If I do the Math for $1000 with a TIP at the end of 1 year I will have roughly.... $1022 My CD would accumulate $1026.75

Am I way Off base here?

SWR
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 07:08 AM   #26
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

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The treasury maintains daily yield curve data that goes back about 18 months here:
http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/domes...ield-hist.html

Historical treasury auction data going back to 1980 is here:
http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/of/ofaicqry.htm

The semi-annual CPI-U data is the same as that used for i-bonds here:
http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/sav/sbirate2.htm

Anybody know what this is for TIPS?

SWR
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 08:04 AM   #27
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

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OK Based on the I Bond Rates. *For Today (May) If I purchased some, I would get 1% fixed and 1.19% interest. *I have some 2.675% CDs how do they differ

If I do the Math for $1000 *with a TIP at the end of 1 year I will have roughly.... *$1022 *My CD would accumulate $1026.75
Well, first of all, the current annualized interest for an i-bond is 3.39% (1% fixed + 2 * 1.19% semi-annual CPI).

Secondly, that rate will go up or down with inflation, whereas your CD will stay at the same rate regardless of inflation.

Thirdly, i-bonds are not the same as TIPS. Among other things, I-bonds mature in 5-years but can be held for up to 30-years. Whereas TIPS are available in fixed maturities of 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-years (30's are only available on the secondary market).

The fixed rate goes up with maturity. The daily yield curve link I gave you shows how the fixed rate changes as you go from 5- to 7- to 10-years. As of yesterday, the 5-year yield was 1.43%, 7-years was 1.82%, 10-years was 2.18%. If you go out to 20+ years, you'll get a fixed rate of about 2.5%.

All of the fixed rates are added to the CPI-U, so for example, if inflation hits 4% this year, a 10-year will yield about 6.18%.
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 08:20 AM   #28
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

I apologize for my ignorance. I thought the 1.19 was Per Year. I assume the tax implications are the same as CDs. All income. The Gov site requires a lot of reading and sifting through links to ge the information for TIPS. There is a good section on I-Bonds though.

Is it normal for TIPS and Ibonds to Beat a good CD? At what looks like 33%.

OH I just read a little, I noticed IBONDS have a $60k limitation per year. Come January I will need a place to throw $500 - 800k.

I am currently looking for info on TIPS. This seems to be harder to find.
SWR

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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 08:22 AM   #29
 
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

I-bonds are federally tax-deffered and state tax-exempt.
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 08:33 AM   #30
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

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I assume the tax implications are the same as CDs.
TIPS (and all treasuries) are free of state tax. I-bonds are tax deferred until you cash them in (and tax-free if you use the interest for education).

Quote:
Is it normal for TIPS and Ibonds to Beat a good CD? *At what looks like 33%.
Are you comparing the same maturities? And what assumptions are you making about inflation? If inflation stays low, CDs will likely outperform TIPS. If inflation goes up, TIPS will do better.

All of the ingredients are in place for high inflation, but the Fed says they will aggressively fight inflation, so the coming years are likely to be very interesting. To me, it seems inevitible that inflation will rise. And the only tool the Fed has to fight inflation is to raise interest rates, which will have its own set of side-effects.
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 01:37 PM   #31
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

I think the capital appreciation (the inflation adjustment) component of TIPS is taxable every year, too. For that reason, people are advised to hold them in their 401ks, preferably in a Roth.

I've had the same problems with I-bonds vs Tips with the 60k a year. And I can't bring myself to buy TIPS with a yield under 4% or so -- think about it -- you are guaranteeing a real return under the SWR, so you've shot the SWR analysis for that portion of your portfolio.

I am pretty risk averse, but I guess not as much as you, Shock-Wave Rider. I agree you should read Bernstein, because your biggest risk over the long run is the erosion of your portfolio by inflation, not capital losses. Fine, lock in a huge portion of your portfolio in bonds, but start to find a way even there to take on an acceptable level of risk. For me, the light came on with the asset allocation approach and realizing that you can have roughly the same return as the S&P500 with half the risk by diversifying. You'll get a little primer on Modern Portfolio Theory, which means blending non-correlated asset classes. My favorite example of this (not from Bernstein's book) is: imagine you have one asset that only pays out on sunny days, and another that only pays out on cloudy or rainy days. Short of a total eclipse on a sunny day, this portfolio of two risky assets becomes a nice all-weather portfolio that will pay out quite steadily and consistently.

Obviously real world is different, but if/when you get over the hump, you have the assets to put together a nice portfolio that will happily throw of a 4% SWR a year, grow (at historical levels) in excess of 8% with a Standard Deviation around 7%.

The dilemma is there is no safe place to earn a meaningful return right now, so the game all becomes about managing risk (imho).

If TIPS yielded 4%+ then 'Game Over', you could snap them up and never think about an investment again. Even there, you'd be giving up the possible upside that is inherent in all these projections -- SWRs aim to show you a withdrawal rate that is 90% or so safe, but many of the scenarios end up with terminal values very much higher than the minimum.

You may never get treasury yields of 4% real -- it is historically pretty rare (I think). So then you are stuck moving into credit risk etc.

Any way I have been able to slice it, you still are carrying risk of some sort -- interest rate risk, credit risk, market risk etc etc.

Here's another risk: what if you and your wife don't make it? Divorce Risk is generally a major financial setback, perhaps the most devastating thing that could ever happen to an ERs portfolio (aside from the human toll). My point is that risks are everywhere, no matter what you do, and the best you can hope for is to manage them. In the words of an old reggae song, "there is nowhere to hide".

I know right now you are feeling very conservative and you should honor that . don't do anything fast. but slowly start to get your mind to come to grips with the eventual future need to start to take on reasonable, carefully-managed types of risk, or else you may never have a positive rate of return (after taxes and inflation) to live on, thus no ability to use your Portfolio to work for you to support a non-work lifestyle. Cash/CDs just wont do it for you -- they can dampen the volatility in a portfolio but they can't support you over the long run.

Anyway, that is the conclusion I've come to. Not exactly what you wanted to hear, probably, but it is the truth as I've been able to get my brain around it. Hope it helps.

ESRBob
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 02:25 PM   #32
 
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

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And I can't bring myself to buy TIPS with a yield under 4% or so -- think about it -- you are guaranteeing a real return under the SWR, so you've shot the SWR analysis for that portion of your portfolio.
I don't think that's exactly correct ESRBob. That would leave you with the entire principal that has been inflation protected.

If you are willing to spend down your priciple as most of us are, you may be able to have a 4% SWR with a 2% yield. Granted this would eat up the principle over your 30 or 40 years, but if you don't care - Well you don't care!
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 02:55 PM   #33
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

I'm not planning on eating my principal at all.

There are a couple of risks with this plan, and I almost guarantee one of them will occur.

One major or a bunch of minor unexpected expenses. We had someone here a while ago with $50k in termite damage. Would force you to liquidate some bonds (dont you have to pay federal taxes on tips when you sell?), and lose the 4% locked rate, along with a chunk of your principal. A divorce as mentioned is another. A child or parent with a serious uncovered health problem.

The other is outliving your money. Medical science seems to be accelerating and with the human genome, stem cells, cloning and other stuff poking around, its possible we'll cure heart disease, cancer, and create healthy extended lives. We might live past 100 with ease, as we have no stress in our lives that isnt self induced.

Of course you could refuse the medical treatments...
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 03:15 PM   #34
 
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

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There are a couple of risks with this plan, and I almost guarantee one of them will occur.
I agree with you here, but that is why I think it more important to have plenty of slop in your budget to cover this stuff. Lots of stuff that could be eliminated if need be. Travel, Eating Out, Electronic Toys etc. etc. That is why I advocate a FWR (Flexible Withdrawal Rate) - taking less when the Market does poorly and more when it does better. And re-evaluating every year. The notion that you retire, compute your SWR, and go on autopilot for 45 years is unrealistic to me!

I would not recommend retiring by coming to the conclusion that a 4% withdrawal rate will allow me to squeak by with no unexpected disasters.

But I am a firm believer in drawing down at least half or 2/3 of the principal by the time you reach 90! *My wife and I will be able to collect over 30K in SS alone. And we could live on this if we had to! *

Someone can always create a scenario where you are absolutely screwed in Life. If the doctor tells you that you only have 18 months to live because you have pancreatic cancer, I'll bet you don't jump up and Yell .......... 'YES'...... I CAN INCREASE MY SWR TO 50%!!
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 03:23 PM   #35
 
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

Hey Cut-Throat, get a grip man! You have got to stop
thinking abouit what might happen if you (or your wife)
live to be 90. Totally irrelevant..........You might be dead
by the time I log on in the morning; your wife too.
If you are seriously planning for what you will be
doing if you get to be 90 years old, you need more help
than I can provide. I will go further..........the chances
are you will never see 90, and even if you do, you will wish you'd died 30 years before.

John Galt
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 03:37 PM   #36
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

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I don't think that's exactly correct ESRBob. That would leave you with the entire principal that has been inflation protected.

If you are willing to spend down your priciple as most of us are, you may be able to have a 4% SWR with a 2% yield. Granted this would eat up the principle over your 30 or 40 years, but if you don't care - Well you don't care!
It seems to me that particulary you guys who have not yet hit 50 should be careful about things like TIP liquidation plans. Say your wife is 40, it may actually be pretty likely that she might live another 50 years, or even longer. All the females(4 of them) in my grandfather's family made it at least to 95. And he made 88. Without any medical care whatsoever. He didn't even have running water. If one is dealing with what is really important, absolute survivability, you and your wife's $30,000 in SS payments would have to capitalized pretty close to the 2.2% "real return" that we are discussing. Get a load of this: $30,000/0.022= $1.5 million!! Of course if you were funding it now, well ahead of the SS payments that it is being compared to it would be different, as you would have some years of compounding. Also, there is no residual cash once you both have departed this mortal coil.

I may change my moniker to Social Security Mikey. Or maybe I'll go with SS Mickey, for little change.

Mikey
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 04:16 PM   #37
 
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

Not a clue what your point was Mikey - And BTW I'm over 50!

Did you read what I posted?


*******************************************
I agree with you here, but that is why I think it more important to have plenty of slop in your budget to cover this stuff. Lots of stuff that could be eliminated if need be. Travel, Eating Out, Electronic Toys etc. etc. That is why I advocate a FWR (Flexible Withdrawal Rate) - taking less when the Market does poorly and more when it does better. And re-evaluating every year. The notion that you retire, compute your SWR, and go on autopilot for 45 years is unrealistic to me!
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 04:25 PM   #38
 
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

John Galt,

I think if you re-read my post, you will know that it is because I am planning on dying some day! That is why I plan on depleting principle.

Read it again! And then tell me at what age is your principle half gone?
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 04:34 PM   #39
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

I agree with Cut-Throat here. TIPS at 2.532% (I just bought some at that rate) would have provided a 100% SWR of about 3.3% for 40 years per FIRECalc. Sure, there's no upside, and you wouldn't leave much of an estate, but for those who can make it on 3% -3 1/2%, I can't think of a safer way to do it. The biggest risks I see are that you can only lock in for around 25 years now, and the feds may play around with the CPI.

Regarding unexpected expenses, I've lived on an income and held almost no assets for much of my adult life. And I've encountered many unexpected expenses along the way, but I've always handled that without digging in to my assets (because I had none). It won't be any different now that I'm retired. I'll just pay myself an income and figure out how to make it on what I pay myself, just like I've always done.
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please
Old 06-17-2004, 04:59 PM   #40
 
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Re: Advice for a Newbe..... Please

Hello Bob_Smith...............how do you
"pay yourself an income" if you hold no assets??
I am sure it is quite simple, but it seems slightly
oxymoronic.

John Galt
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