Bob Hinkley is known as ‘#cruncher’ on the Bogleheads forums, and rightly so. He has created and updates an incredible site with a massive amount of useful data guiding us through the history of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. Here’s a glimpse of part of the opening page:
All this data is a bit daunting, so I asked Bob to give me a summary of how to use the site. Here is what he wrote:
I should explain what may be the most useful part of my web site for TIPS owners who want to confirm the OID reported by TreasuryDirect or their brokers.
The Interest and OID page (e.g., TIPS INTEREST & OID FOR 2010) becomes available in November with the release of the October CPI. It can be used by those who’ve held TIPS
- For the entire year or
- From the beginning of the year until maturity or
- From the initial auction until the end of the year
For example, someone who bought the Feb 2040 at the initial auction on 2/26/2010 earned $12.59 for each $1,000 of face value for 2010.
For those who don’t meet any of the above conditions the OID can be looked up in one of the “After Market” pages. For example, assume one bought the Feb 2040 at the second auction on Aug 31, 2010. By scrolling down to the row for August 31 on 2.125% 30-YEAR TIPS DUE FEBRUARY 15, 2040 Interest and OID per $1,000 Face Value for 2010, one sees that $3.42 of OID is reportable for 2010.
The Help page (Interest & OID on After Market Purchase or Sale) explains what to do if you buy and sell a TIPS within the same year.
The site also has a page that show the monthly CPI-U going back to 1961. On the right side I’ve added 5 columns that show the annualized increase for 1, 2, 5, 10, and 30 year periods. This view of past inflation can help a TIPS investor get a feel for what the future might hold. One can change the terminal month for the annual increases by clicking on the month name at the top or bottom of the chart.
For example, I own the 10-year TIPS that matures 07/15/17. I can look down the chart, and click on the coupon rate, which is 2.625 (good old days) and find a history of interest payments and principal adjustments.
Want to look at all 10-year TIPS ever issued?
How about all the 30-years?
There is a ton of data here. Explore.