Inflation Protection: Seeking Relief from the “Silent Thief”
A Note about Risk: The value of investments in fixed-income securities will change as interest rates fluctuate and in response to market movements. As interest rates fall, the prices of debt securities tend to rise, and as interest rates rise, the prices of debt securities tend to fall. Bonds may also be subject to other types of risk, such as call, credit, liquidity, interest-rate, and general market risks. Moreover, the specific collateral used to secure a loan may decline in value or become illiquid, which would adversely affect the loan’s value. Longer-term debt securities are usually more sensitive to interest-rate changes. The longer the maturity date of a security, the greater the effect a change in interest rates is likely to have on its price. Inflation-linked bonds (ILBs) issued by a government are fixed income securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation; ILBs decline in value when real interest rates rise. Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS; see below) are ILBs issued by the U.S. government. Investments in such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate in value.
TIPS (Treasury inflation-protected securities) are U.S. Treasury securities indexed to inflation in order to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. The principal of a TIP is adjusted according to the CPI-U. With a rise in the index, or inflation, the principal increases. With a fall in the index, or deflation, the principal decreases. Though the rate is fixed and paid semiannually, interest payments vary because the rate is applied to the adjusted principal. Specifically, the amount of each interest payment is determined by multiplying the adjusted principal by one-half the interest rate. Upon maturity, TIPS pay the original or adjusted principal amount, whichever is greater. Because TIPS are adjusted for inflation, a change in real interest rates (but not nominal interest rates) will affect the value of TIPS. When real interest rates rise, the value of TIPS will decline, and when real interest rates fall, the value of TIPS will rise.
This Market View may contain assumptions that are “forward-looking statements,” which are based on certain assumptions of future events. Actual events are difficult to predict and may differ from those assumed. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize or that actual returns or results will not be materially different from those described here. Statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. There is no guarantee that markets will perform in a similar manner under similar conditions in the future.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the price changes for each item in a predetermined basket of goods and services, and the inputs are weighted according to their importance to consumers.
Correlation is a statistical measure that describes the strength of relationship between two variables. It can vary from 1.0 to -1.0.
CPI swaps are a type of interest-rate swap in which the fixed payment is based on the current, expected rate of inflation, while the variable payment is based on the actual rate of inflation. The actual rate of inflation is measured by the cumulative change in the headline Consumer Price Index (CPI), which includes food and energy. The most common type of CPI swap is a zero-coupon swap, so called because the only payment occurs when the contract matures. Thus, there is no cash commitment when a party enters a zero-coupon swap agreement or during the life of the contract.
Duration is a measure of the sensitivity of the price of a fixed-income asset to a change in interest rates and is expressed in years.
The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index represents securities that are SEC-registered, taxable, and dollar denominated. The Index covers the U.S. investment-grade fixed-rate bond market, with index components for government and corporate securities, mortgage pass-through securities, and asset-backed securities. Total return comprises price appreciation/depreciation and income as a percentage of the original investment.
The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. TIPS Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities with at least $1 billion in outstanding face value.
The Bloomberg Inflation Swap USD 5-Year Zero Coupon Index is a tradable index designed to replicate the performance of investing in five-year inflation swaps. The index maintains a constant maturity from month to month. A zero-coupon inflation swap is an exchange of inflation-linked cash flow and a fixed cash flow at maturity.
Indexes are unmanaged, do not reflect the deduction or expenses, and are not available for direct investment.
The information provided is not directed at any investor or category of investors and is provided solely as general information about Lord Abbett’s products and services and to otherwise provide general investment education. None of the information provided should be regarded as a suggestion to engage in or refrain from any investment-related course of action as neither Lord Abbett nor its affiliates are undertaking to provide impartial investment advice, act as an impartial adviser, or give advice in a fiduciary capacity. If you are an individual retirement investor, contact your financial advisor or other fiduciary about whether any given investment idea, strategy, product or service may be appropriate for your circumstances.
The opinions in Market View are as of the date of publication, are subject to change based on subsequent developments, and may not reflect the views of the firm as a whole. The material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research, or investment advice, is not a recommendation or offer to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy, and is not intended to predict or depict the performance of any investment. Readers should not assume that investments in companies, securities, sectors, and/or markets described were or will be profitable. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. This document is prepared based on the information Lord Abbett deems reliable; however, Lord Abbett does not warrant the accuracy and completeness of the information. Investors should consult with a financial advisor prior to making an investment decision.