Freaking out over inflation?
If you want a nearly risk-free way to grow your cash, Uncle Sam has an attractive offer for you.
The US government announced a new eye-popping 9.62% interest rate for Series I savings bonds now through October 2022 — the highest interest rate ever for these investments.
Series I bonds — also known as inflation bonds or I bonds — are the only inflation-protected security sold by the Treasury Department.
With inflation at a 40-year high, there’s literally never been a better time to buy I bonds.
At 9.62%, I bonds are not only outpacing inflation, they’re earning more than the stock market so far this year — and even more than bitcoin. (The stock market is down 13.8% in 2022 and bitcoin is down 18.5%).
At 9.62%, these bonds offer a rate about 13 times higher than what you’d currently earn from high-yield savings accounts.
And since I bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government, your risk of losing money is basically zero. (Historically, the US government has never defaulted on bonds.)
But before you rush to buy I bonds, there are a few things you need to know.
What Are I Bonds and How Do They Work?
I bonds are issued by the US government and they can be purchased at TreasuryDirect.gov.
The interest rate on I bonds adjusts twice a year (in May and November) based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
I bond rates actually combine two different figures:
- A semiannual (twice a year) inflation rate that fluctuates based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
- A fixed rate of return, which remains the same throughout the life of the bond. (It’s currently at 0%.)
In April 2022, inflation increased 8.5% year-over-year, the biggest surge in more than 40 years. As inflation keeps rising, so does the variable rate on I bonds:
- May 2021: 3.34%
- November 2021: 7.12%
- May 2022: 9.62%
While new buyers will enjoy 9.62% on these bonds for now, that rate can change after six months. It…