NU Online News Service, March 23, 2004, 1:45 p.m. EST – John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, has added a SignatureNotes product for investors who are worried about inflation.[@@]

The product is an inflation-adjusted medium-term note.

Hancock’s John Hancock Life Insurance Company unit, the note issuer, will pay a rate equal to the year-over-year change in the Consumer Price Index plus an extra, fixed amount that will be set when Hancock issues the note.

The rate can go up or down, but, even if deflation strikes and the CPI falls sharply, the rate will never sink below zero, Hancock says.

Hancock has sold $1.7 billion in SignatureNotes notes through a network of more than 250 broker-dealers since it introduced the SignatureNotes program in August 2002.

The minimum investment is $1,000.