US Savings Bonds - better than putting your money in your mattress

With all the confusion in the financial markets these days, the good old, reliable United States Savings Bond comes through once again as the absolute best investment available today. Because of all the bank failures and consolidations, many individuals have reservations about placing their money into any investment. Many investors have commented that they are so concerned about the amount of failures and takeovers they are not even putting their money into bank CDs. But not savings bond owners.

Savings bond owners are recognizing this huge opportunity and are adding to their portfolios while people unfamiliar with savings bonds are learning that this is one of the greatest investments ever offered.

Series "I" U S Savings Bonds issued between November 1, 2008 and April 30, 2009, will earn interest at the rate of 5.64% (an annual rate) for the first six months from their date of purchase. This beats any other investment available today having the same degree of safety and security. Also, money invested into savings bonds earns compound interest and grows tax-deferred until redeemed, or the bond(s) reach their final maturity in 30 years. And now with this historically high interest rate of 5.64%, this is an unprecedented opportunity to add to your investment portfolio with one of the safest investments in the world.

However, I suggest that you move quickly. As was reported in an earlier blog, the Treasury Department has reduced the limit on the amount of money that any one person can invest in paper savings bonds in a single year to only $5K. So, unless you have already purchased some series "I" paper savings bonds, you have a unique opportunity to invest up to $5K in series "I" bonds in December, and then purchase another $5K in January, 2009. That way you will have $10K worth of savings bonds, earning interest at the rate of 5.64%, working for you. This is not too shabby.

Furthermore, if you are married, or have children, you can purchase $5K more as a Co-Owner with your spouse and also as a Co-Owner with each of your children. Grandparents should take particular notice. Start building - or adding -- to your grandchildren's college fund with a high yielding savings bond investment just in time for Christmas.

So, if you are planning to invest some cash, you shouldn't hesitate to purchase some series "I" savings bonds right away. This tremendous investment opportunity will only be available through the end of December and then it will be gone forever. Remember the saying "He who hesitates is lost."

Jack Quinn is a personal finance writer and editor for Jack has helped Savings Bond owners better understand their investments for more than 15 years.

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