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iShares TIPS Bond Message Board

  • uwerrobbed uwerrobbed May 4, 2011 3:22 PM Flag

    SO What if inflation hits 100%

    Looks like it could. CD's won't pay you even close to that.

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    • Here's what 100% inflation would do to me.

      The bulk of my nest egg sits in TIPS (and I-Bonds) that I bought directly from the government.

      My nominal wealth would temporarily double but the inflationary gains would push me into the highest tax bracket.

      So I made 100% but I'd owe 35% of that gain as taxes. Since my net worth sits in TIPS and TIPS don't pay me the inflationary gains until the bonds mature, I would have to sell some of my bonds (similar to what the fund managers of TIP would need to do to pay the monthly distribution in theory).

      Adjusted for inflation and taxes, I'd be roughly 17% poorer than I was the previous year.

      One year of that would seriously hurt. A few years of that and I would be financially ruined.

      Want scary? Due to the taxation I will be forced to sell some TIPS bonds. I doubt I will be the only one forced to sell. If a lot of people are selling TIPS bonds to pay their taxes then what would that do to the price of TIPS?

      Want scarier? Who will want my TIPS bonds if they are losing 17% per year after inflation and taxes?

      If you know hyperinflation is coming then you really don't want to own any dollar denominated assets.

      Here's the good news (if you can call it that). I think we're trying to combine the deflationary Great Depression with the inflationary 1970s. That doesn't scream hyperinflation to me. It just screams low real growth and more economic pain. Low real growth and more economic pain are good reasons for owning TIPS (perhaps even at these lofty prices). Just keep in mind that the price of oil is high enough to crash again and I doubt we've seen the last recession in our lifetimes. If oil crashes, expect TIP's price to fall in sympathy (and for good reason).

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