Decoding Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIP’s)

Why are many of them listed at negative rates of return?

I was having a conversation recently with a friend who had bought an exchange-traded fund that invested in TIP’s. She was concerned because the fund was down slightly from where she had bought it. Her understanding was that TIP’s are treasury bonds, meaning guaranteed by the US Government and that she was also protected against inflation. I explained to her, yes she was correct, with a qualification. If you buy an individual TIP bond as a new issue, and hold it to maturity…