Friday, April 18, 2008

I Bonds take off with Inflation

The US Treasury recently reported on April 16th that Inflation now stands at 4.83% for the last 6 months. The rate is based on the difference between the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in September and the latest CPI in March.

If you are holding any Series I Savings Bonds this is uplifting news. To determine what I bonds will earn during the next six-month rate period, just add the fixed base-rate to the 4.83% inflation rate. The fixed-base rate for your I bonds can be anywhere between 1.0% and 3.6%, depending on when the I bond was issued.

Gee, don’t we all wish we had more I bonds? You can purchase some today with the current fixed base rate of 1.2% to earn a composite rate that is over 4.2% for the next six months, which will then be followed by six months at over 6.0%. That rate certainly beats money markets, saving accounts, CDs, US Treasury securities and even Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS).

Maybe we should all go out and load up on I bonds? Only problem with that is the US Government limits the annual purchase amount for savings bonds. As it currently stands, we are limited to $5000 per social security number per type of bond. For some reason, the Treasury considers paper and electronic bonds to be different types, so you can purchase $5000 in paper I bonds at a bank and another $5000 electronic I bonds at Treasury Direct for a total of $10000.

Investing in Series I Savings Bonds can help protect a portfolio from the risk of inflation as well as the risk of capital loss. Unfortunately with the limits on Savings Bond investments, the help this strategy can provide is also limited.

1 comment:

  1. I hope everyone out there now wish that they have purchased some bonds with the current ongoing financial crisis of the country. Great post!