August 17, 2022

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How to buy Series I savings bonds via TreasuryDirect

2 min read

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There’s been record demand for federal Series I savings bonds, an inflation-protected and nearly risk-free asset, offering an eye-popping 9.62% annual return through October.

However, it’s not easy to buy I bonds through TreasuryDirect, a 20-year-old platform run by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, financial advisors say. 

“It’s like going to the DMV online,” said Matt Stephens, a certified financial planner with AdvicePoint in Wilmington, North Carolina, explaining how the process of buying I bonds is especially difficult for his older clients.

Inflation is driving up demand for I bonds

I bond interest has two parts, a fixed rate and variable rate, adjusting every six months based on the Consumer Price Index, a key measure of inflation.

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Since the annual rate jumped to 7.12% in November, 1.85 million new savings bond accounts have been opened through June 24, according to a Treasury official. 

“We’re committed to ensuring that TreasuryDirect users have a positive customer experience,” a Treasury spokesperson said, highlighting recent changes, such as shifted resources, hiring temporary staff and website and phone support improvements.

“We are also in the process of developing an updated, modern replacement for the current TreasuryDirect system,” they added.

How to purchase I bonds

There are two ways to buy I bonds. You can buy them electronically via TreasuryDirect, with an individual limit of $10,000 per person per calendar year. You can also buy them in paper form with your federal tax refund, enabling another $5,000 purchase per person. 

Before buying electronic I bonds, you’ll need to open a TreasuryDirect account by providing your tax ID number, email address and banking details.

The password log-in…

2022-06-29 15:38:39

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