Cash risk

Discussion of the Cash portion of the Permanent Portfolio

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Pkg Man
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Cash risk

Post by Pkg Man » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:38 pm

I was just perusing the fund information sheet for the Government Short Term Investment Fund offered in my 401K.  Below is the section about risks. 
Important Message About Risk
There are risks involved with investing, including possible loss of principal. The Fund seeks to maintain a constant one dollar unit value, although there is no assurance that a constant unit value will be maintained. Risks associated with fixed income securities include, but are not limited to, interest rate risks; the risk of issuer default, and inflation risk. This effect is usually pronounced for longer-term securities. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to a substantial gain or loss. Government bonds and corporate bonds generally have more moderate short-term price fluctuations than stocks, but provide lower potential long-term returns. U.S.Treasury Bills maintain a stable value if held to maturity, but returns are generally only slightly above the inflation rate. Additionally, an investment in the Fund is subject to a number of risks, which include but are not limited to: Call Risk, Conflict of Interest Risk, Counterparty Risk, Credit Risk, Currency Risk, Custodial Risk, Debt Securities Risk, Derivatives Risk, Extension Risk, Geographic Concentration Risk, Income Risk, Index Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Investment Risk, Issuer Risk, Leveraging Risk, Limited Investment Program Risk, Liquidity Risk, Lower-Rated Securities Risk, Market Risk, Mortgage and Asset-Backed Securities Risk, Municipal Obligations Risk, Portfolio Turnover Risk, Prepayment Risk, Risk of Investment in Other Pools, Tax Risk, U.S.Government Securities Risk, Variable and Floating Rate Securities, and Valuation Risk. You should refer to the Fund's Disclosure Document for a complete description of the risks of investing in the Fund. Risk management does not promise any level of performance or guarantee against loss of principal. SSgA encourages investors to seek the advice of well-qualified financial and tax advisors, accountants, attorneys and other professionals before making any investment or retirement decision.

Seems a bit like those drug ad disclaimers you see on TV.  I'm surprise it doesn't list hearing loss, loss of vision, headaches, suicidal thoughts, and impotency as additional risks associated with investing in this fund.

I'm sure this is boiler-plate stuff, but how useful can this possibly be? And this is a fund that measures itself against 3-month T bills (it also relies heavily on repos and some agency debt).  Really makes me want to buy T-bills directly for my cash portion, or invest in SHY or SHV.
"Machines are gonna fail...and the system's gonna fail"
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