Sunday, October 29, 2006


Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine

Vice President Dick Cheney's financial advisers are apparently betting on a rise in inflation and interest rates and on a decline in the value of the dollar against foreign currencies. That's the conclusion we draw after scouring the financial disclosure form released by Cheney recently.

As of the end of last year, Cheney and his wife, Lynne, held between $10 million and $25 million in Vanguard Short-Term Tax-Exempt fund (VWSTX, news, msgs) (it's impossible to be more precise because the disclosure form lists holdings within ranges). The fund's holdings of tax-free municipal bonds mature, on average, in a little more than a year -- meaning that the fund should hold up well if rates rise.

The Cheneys held another $1 million to $5 million in Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market fund (VMSXX, news, msgs), which is practically risk-free and could benefit from continued increases in short-term interest rates. And the couple had between $2 million and $10 million in Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities fund (VIPSX, news, msgs). The principal and interest payments of inflation-protected bonds rise along with consumer prices, making them good inflation hedges.

The Cheneys also had between $10 million and $25 million in American Century International Bond (BEGBX, news, msgs). The fund buys mainly high-quality foreign bonds (predominantly in Europe) and rarely hedges against possible increases in the value of the dollar. Indeed, its prospectus limits dollar exposure to 25% of assets and the fund currently has only 6% of assets in dollars, according to an American Century spokesman.

The Cheneys' total assets could be as high as $94.6 million, according to the disclosure form. The vice president's advisers say the vice president pays no attention to his investments. His lawyer, Terrence O'Donnell, says outside money managers supervise the investments. "He has nothing to do with it," O'Donnell says.
Anonymous | 10.28.06 - 2:13 pm | #


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