Money & Economics

David L

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tigerwillow1

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For series-I savings bonds, the September CPI-U numbers posted today are the final component of the inflation rate for new bonds issued starting November 1, and for old bonds in their next 6-month rate period. The CPI-U over the six months up to September 2023 increased by 1.9%, meaning the new inflation component will be 3.8%. I'm guessing that the fixed rate component, currently 0.9%, will increase to about 1.6%. That would make newly purchased I-bonds pay about 5.4% for their first 6 months.

I last bought I-bonds ~2 years ago when the inflation component was over 7%, a killer deal at the time. With their 0% fixed rate component, those bonds are now earning 3.4%, which will increase to 3.8%. Not good at all, since it's all of a sudden easy to get 5+% interest. I'm going to sell those old ones and maybe use the money to purchase new I-bonds with the higher fixed rate component. Not an obvious decision as it was 2 years ago. Depends a lot on what the new fixed rate really will be, unknown until Nov 1.
 

bigredfish

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For series-I savings bonds, the September CPI-U numbers posted today are the final component of the inflation rate for new bonds issued starting November 1, and for old bonds in their next 6-month rate period. The CPI-U over the six months up to September 2023 increased by 1.9%, meaning the new inflation component will be 3.8%. I'm guessing that the fixed rate component, currently 0.9%, will increase to about 1.6%. That would make newly purchased I-bonds pay about 5.4% for their first 6 months.

I last bought I-bonds ~2 years ago when the inflation component was over 7%, a killer deal at the time. With their 0% fixed rate component, those bonds are now earning 3.4%, which will increase to 3.8%. Not good at all, since it's all of a sudden easy to get 5+% interest. I'm going to sell those old ones and maybe use the money to purchase new I-bonds with the higher fixed rate component. Not an obvious decision as it was 2 years ago. Depends a lot on what the new fixed rate really will be, unknown until Nov 1.

I'm in the exact same situation... I can get 5% 6 month CD's as mentioned by @looney2ns so its a tougher call than 2 years ago for sure.
 

tigerwillow1

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Treasury announced the I-bond rates for purchases starting tomorrow, Nov. 1, 2023:

5.27% (1.3% fixed + 3.97% inflation component).

I was hoping for a higher fixed rate, but it still makes sense to sell any 0% fixed rate bonds to buy these. Quick estimate is that breakeven with the early sale penalty is about 6 months, then it's all better after that. The guessing game is whether to buy a 2nd batch in January, or hope for a higher fixed rate starting next April 1.
 

bigredfish

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I've decided to let our I-Bonds ride through May and we'll take a look then. I'll take 5.27% for now ;)

I'm seeing Chase cut their 5%CDs to 3%, and my little regional bank that has been paying 4.75% MM and 5% on a 6 Mo CD is going to cut that back Dec 31 to?

Banks cant afford paying 4-5%. Most of them did it to attract deposits, new money, and now its time for the Bait N Switch. There's a squeeze coming..
 

tigerwillow1

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I've decided to let our I-Bonds ride through May and we'll take a look then. I'll take 5.27% for now ;)
I had 2 years' worth of the 0% fixed I-bonds that I sold today. I'll use half the funds to max out this year's purchase at the current rate, and sit on the other half to see the new rate next May, and get ~5% in a money market fund until then.
 
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