Tags: Pimco | TIPS | Fed | inflation

Pimco Bullish on TIPS, Thanks to the Fed

Monday, 06 May 2013 08:41 AM

By Dan Weil

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Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) have continued to rise recently, pushing some investors to take profits.

But Pimco is still bullish on them, even as inflation remains tame, The Wall Street Journal reports.

When the consumer price index (CPI) increases, so does the principal on TIPS, which boosts semiannual interest payments and repayment of principal at maturity. The CPI rose 1.5 percent in the year through March.

Editor's Note:
Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

Pimco's view is predicated on the Federal Reserve's desire for higher inflation. The Fed is even ready to let inflation run above its long-term target of 2 percent.

"The Fed actually wants higher inflation than there is," Mihir Worah, a TIPs manager for Pimco, told The Journal.

Pimco has been overweight TIPS and bought more of them recently as the yield gap shrank between TIPS and Treasurys, indicating TIPS could be attractive even at a lower inflation rate, he says.

Others think it's a better time to sell. "We've gotten a tremendous amount of bang for our buck," Diana Joseph, chief investment officer at Barrington Strategic Wealth Management Group, told The Journal.

In the last six months, the firm has cut its TIPS allocations in clients' fixed-income portfolios to 5 to 8 percent from 7 to 10 percent previously.

A five-year TIPS traded at $107.18 Friday, with an interest-rate of just 0.125 percent before adjustment for inflation.

That, of course, amounts to a negative real yield. "While investing in TIPS when their real yield is negative does mean you'll earn less than the inflation rate, the principal value of the TIPS and the income they throw off will still rise if inflation picks up," according to Money Magazine.

Therefore, investors are protecting themselves if inflation rises in the long run or spikes unexpectedly in the short-run.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

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