TIPS FROM UNCLE SAM

A NEW INFLATION-PROOF BOND PROVES TO BE A BIG HIT WITH INSTITUTIONS. BUT IS IT A WIN-WIN IDEA FOR YOU?

Hey, want a hot investment tip? Better make that TIPS, the acronym for a new class of U.S. government bond that went on sale last week--and quickly turned into the Treasury Department's version of Tickle-Me Elmo. The new wonder bonds, known as Treasury Inflation Protection Securities, were snapped up by institutional investors such as insurance companies and pension funds, which lugged $37 billion to the table, even though only $7 billion worth of the 10-year notes were actually up for sale.

TIPS promise a twofold benefit: first, to safeguard investors' principal against the ravages of rising prices; second, to cut the...

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