Buy I Savings Bonds in November 2021

Are you searching for greater interest rates to grow your money?

If yes, then US Series I Savings Bonds might be exactly what you’re looking for!

The November 2021 I bond inflation rate is 7.12% (US Treasury) which is 3.56% earned over 6 months. Your $100 investment becomes $103.56 in just 6 months!

In fact, we believe this is the best 6-month rate I bonds have ever offered! When we compare the 6- month composite rates against 12-month treasuries at the time we see that the 6-month I bond rate is an average of 0.31% lower.

At the 3.56% 6-month rate, and a 0.12% 12-month treasury rate we see a positive difference in favor of the I bond of almost 3.5%! We only saw on other time in history that the differential was even above 2.0% (May 2011).

What you need to know about I bonds

An I bond is a U.S. Government Savings bond that carries a fixed interest rate, plus an additional inflation adjuster, so that you get an inflation-adjusted real rate of return. In a world of inflation worries and few inflation-adjusted investments, the I bond is a great place to look for savers.

Now, what are the details with an I bond?

  • You have to hold them for 12 months minimum. You can’t cash out before then.
  • If you cash out between the end of year one and the end of year five, you lose your prior three months interest as a penalty.
  • You can only buy $10,000 per person, per year, and you have to do it at TreasuryDirect.gov
  • I bonds are a great place for part of your emergency fund money

Bonus: Listen to the just released podcast with David Enna from TipsWatch.com for more in depth analysis on I bonds: US Series I Savings Bonds Simplified

Read below for more detailed info on I Bonds and why November may be a great month to buy them.

Why I bonds are so interesting right now

Many investors we talk to hadn’t heard of US Series I Savings Bonds (I Bonds) but have recently become aware of them because of the eye-popping yields they started offering in 2021.

Coverage began in earnest in May when the 6-month ‘inflation rate’ of 1.77% was announced (which is 3.54% annualized!).

WSJ: I Bonds – the safe high return trade hiding in plain sight

NY Times: With inflation rising, consider the humdrum US Savings Bond

Now November 2021 I bond rates doubled to 7.12%!

How I bonds work

When the US Government announces the 6-month inflation rate, you’ll be earning double that amount for half the year. Most interest rates are quoted in annual terms, but the I bonds are quoted in semi-annual 6-month terms. To calculate the annualized rate is and to compare it to other rates just double the 6-month inflation rate.

Your November 2021 I bonds purchase will turn your $100 into $103.56 just 6 months later. This is a 7.12% annualized rate.

After six months you’ll get a new six-month rate, and your money will grow by that new rate.

You are required to hold I bonds for 12 months and you only know what the next 6 months will bring for interest, but what’s the worst that could happen?

What’s the worst case scenario?

The worst case scenario is you earn 7.12% interest for the 6 months after you buy your I bond, followed by 0% after that. Your $100 would turn into $103.56 6 months later, and still be worth $103.56 12 months later. If the rate 12 months from now is not a rate that you like, then you could cash out your I bond in 12 months, lose the 3 months prior interest (which would be 0% or more), and still have $103.56 (or more).

That’s a 3.56% or greater rate over the next 12 months!

You’re very likely to earn more than 3.56% over the next 12 months, though.

There have been 48 announced inflation rate adjustments since I bonds started in September 1998, and only 2 have been negative!

Yet even when the inflation rate was negative, I bond interest will never go below 0.0%!

What are the rates on comparable investments?

12-month CD for a top rate of 0.75%, and average of 0.14%

Money market for a top rate of 0.55%, and average of 0.08%

Savings account for a top rate of 0.55%, and average of 0.06%

12-month Treasury of 0.12%

(based on Bankrate.com and Federal Reserve Data from 10/29/2021)

I bonds seem to have an advantage and are worth considering.

Get Strategic with Your I Bonds purchase

David Enna, author of Tipswatch.com suggests being even more strategic, “You can buy an I Bond near the last day of the month and get credit for a full month’s interest, so you can effectively cut the one-year holding period to 11 months and a day, but realistically, you may want to extend the holding period to 14-15 months. If you lose the prior three months of interest by cashing in early, and are unhappy with the new 6-month rate, you’d want to hold on for the full six-month higher interest period and wait for a full three months of lower interest before cashing in.”

Take Action

When you get your bank statement and need a microscope to find the pennies of interest you are getting, think through how much you can commit to a 12-month interest rate that pays over 3.5%. Zvi Bodie likes to call I bonds “America’s Best Kept Investing Secret.” Let’s fight the low interest rates that we are getting right now, buy some I Bonds, and tell everyone else we know about this incredible opportunity. To buy your I Bonds, go to TreasuryDirect.gov.

Bonus: Listen to the just released podcast with David Enna from TipsWatch.com for more in depth analysis on I bonds: US Series I Savings Bonds Simplified

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