Generally speaking, I'm a buy and hold index fund investor, with a long-term time horizon (20+ years). I currently keep ~12% of my account in intermediate-term bond funds. I don't usually make big money moves other than rebalancing my portfolio once or twice a year. I'm basically never trying to "time the market" or make any kind of swing trades, but looking at the response to the recent Fed interest rate hike got me wondering if I should rebalance my bonds over to something like a TIPS fund, or even put some in a Series-I bond for a while, at least until the current rate-hike cycle chills out.
Does a TIPS mutual fund or ETF (like VTIPS) provide the same principle protection as buying the bonds directly and holding to maturity? Does a move like this make sense if I think we're not done with high inflation just yet?
Maybe I'm overthinking the situation. All told, it probably won't have a large affect on my portfolio, since I'm not looking at retirement for another 20+ years. I honestly have very little understanding about how financial instruments work, which is why I just put money into low-cost index funds at regular intervals, and sit on it.