In a somewhat sad imitation of my recommendation to buy 2+% real yield 30-year TIPS from two years ago (see http://www.longtermreturns.com/2011/01/30-year-tips-yielding-over-2.html ) I would like to draw your attention to... drumroll please... 0.5% real yield 30-year TIPS available now, thanks to a recent (very) moderate rise in long-term interest rates.
I will skip any pretense that locking in 0.5% real yield for 30 years is a bargain. It's a lousy deal. The only reason I mention it is that fixed income choices can get even more lousy than this and stay that way for decades. They have been more lousy for about four decades of the 20th century, 1940s through 1970s. Though historical average return from bonds has been 2-3% per year above inflation, bonds during those four decades instead lost 1-2% per year to inflation. To be fair, periods before and, especially, after those four decades have been much kinder to bond investors, but the fact remains that even 0.5% guaranteed real return was desirable for a long time.
If you are (a) under 40-50 years of age and have full 30-year or longer investment horizon, (b) don't mind inevitable significant fluctuations in the value of these 30-year TIPS, and (c) appreciate the portfolio diversification value and long-term (but definitely not short-term!) safety of 30-year TIPS, then it's not unreasonable to buy them even today in tax-sheltered accounts with the firm plan to hold on to them for 30 years.
The tax-sheltered account part is very important. If you hold TIPS in taxable accounts you will be on hook for annual taxes on their growth in value with inflation even though you won't actually see a penny of that growth till the bond matures or you sell it. Do not hold TIPS in taxable accounts unless you really, really know what you are doing. What you should hold in taxable accounts are I-Bonds which today will just keep up with inflation (meaning lose 0.5% annually to the 30-year TIPS) but which are easily redeemable after just one year and have absolutely no chance of even short-term losses. They are TIPS "lite" with a host of very desirable characteristics.
Again, do understand what you are getting and not getting with these 30-year TIPS. You get a chance to lock in for a very long term into returns which are significantly below average but, at the same time, significantly better than worst-case scenario. You should absolutely not count on these 30-year TIPS to guarantee any kind of short-term return. It is very possible for them to plunge in value by 30% or even more over the course of one year. My guess is that they will experience that sort of plunge in value at least once during their 30-year life. But you can count on them to recover their value towards the end of those 30 years and ultimately deliver the promised keeping up with inflation plus 0.5% on top. In addition, they will serve as a diversifier for a portfolio heavy in stocks and non-inflation-adjusted bonds (which is to say, nearly all bonds other than TIPS). It is also conceivable that your 30-year TIPS might even increase in value unexpectedly and provide you with a nice short-term profit -- but you should not count on it. And, again, it's very important to only hold TIPS in tax-sheltered accounts so you are not on hook for annual taxes on their "phantom interest".
You can buy 30-year TIPS direct from brokerages like Fidelity (screen-captured above), directly in your IRA accounts. In many cases such purchases will not even carry commissions.