I-Bonds Discussion Thread (continuation of the FW thread)

15 days and still waiting after sending the medallion guarantee form…

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The thread that you listed showed the “hiccup” was that the client lost their account number (login id), and Treasury Direct is overwhelmed with new business, thus leading to incredibly long delays (sorry @TravelerMSY).

The person who lost their account number find’s it a hassle to sit on hold. He/She/It has my sympathies, but I suspect that this may be the proper sized block of wood to knock some sense in their head … or they may just scream and stamp their foot more. :frowning:

Did they already withdraw the funds? If so, you’re at least getting interest while they take months to work through the huge backlog from the jump in customers (and related customer questions/problems). I guess someone famous must have tweeted about I-Bonds. :slight_smile:

Another treasury direct lockout thread from the Bogleheads

As the title says, I’m the fool who forgot every security question for Treasury Direct.

I grew up in an era where security questions were for people who forgot their password and didn’t take them seriously.

Well, I didn’t forget my password, but they presented me with 10 questions anyway and now my account is locked.

I have read that you have to answer these over the phone too.

Apparently the poster made up nonsense answers but then forgot to write them down. The moral of this is to be super organized like the goose. I checked my password safe and I’m usually pretty good about it but I only find the answers to two questions. I’m certain they never asked 10 questions, ULP. :flushed:


No. It assigned an account # then immediately locked the account.

Got this today, after their having had the signature guarantee form for 15 days, lol.

“Cases are worked in the order they are received in our office. Your request is important to us and will receive attention as soon as possible. Please allow up to 16 weeks for review and processing. If we require additional information, we will contact you. Thank you for your patience.”


The 10 year tips auction today May 19 resulted in a positive .232% real yield This compares to the zero real yield of I bonds. Large amounts of Tips can be bought on the secondary market for zero commission at brokers like Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard. Tips and I bonds are both inflation indexed but have different properties so you should study before buying.

here’s what the tipswatch website has to say

I am pleased to see this result because TIPS investors deserve yields that are positive to the rate of official U.S. inflation. Investors who have flooded into I Bonds now have a legitimate option after reaching the $10,000 per-person cap on I Bond purchases. TIPS are a little more complicated, but a high-quality, safe investment if held to maturity.

I’m not an expert on TIPS, but I’m pretty sure you’d still want I bonds over a 0.25% yield TIPS. For TIPS, like bonds, you only get the guaranteed inflation protected yield if you hold to maturity, while for I bonds you get that every 6 months. You also get tax deferral and deflation protection (TIPS can lose principle during deflation). If/when the I bond reset is looking lower than actual inflation, you can just sell then and buy the TIPS if you want.

Interesting also the auction priced a lot lower than expected, ie higher yields, for the first time the Fed is no longer bidding on everything with their free QE printed money.


That’s the kicker that cannot be stressed enough. You are beholden to inflation rates, not market interest rates, for a full 10 years. Cut short that 10-year term, and all resemblances of a guarantee are taken off the table. And while market interest rates can easily reach 4-5% over the next year, if inflation hits their targeted number you’ll be stuck earning half that for [potentially] nearly the full 10 year term.


That is a lot of if’s considering that current 8% inflation is over three times the breakeven inflation for the ten year tips (2.86-.2=2.66%).

The 2022 fiscal year United States budget deficit is running at a $1 trillion rate and the total US debt is over $30 trillion. with this debt, every 100 basis point increase in the average interest is $300 billion per year interest expense that has to be paid by the government. So if overall interest rates on the debt reach 4-5% it’ll bankrupt the country with $1.5 trillion in annual interest expense. I do not know what the average term is of the debt. my impression is that the government was issuing a lot of short-term bonds.


By the way I’m not arguing that these tips are better than ibonds but I’ve already bought my $10,000 for the year and I am not inclined to play the games to get a few more thousand dollars.

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Why is that break-even? I’m referring to rates that banks pay on savings and CDs. Top rates are already approaching 3%. Reaching 5% by the end of this year isnt a stretch, and certainly isnt unheard of. And while inflation rates arent going to suddenly crash overnight, it’s really tough to bet that inflation will remain at this level for 10 years.

The only reason I bonds are so desirable right now is because of the current rates combined with the ability to easily bail once those rates are no longer competitive. TIPS dont offer those circumstances - they’re peachy for the near term, but over time there’s a good chance they’ll end up costing you one way or another.

The Inflation adjustment on the tips is 8%, far higher than those rates that you quote. You may think the inflation rate will come down soon but I do not. The Biden administration is doing their damnedest to cut off United States oil, natural gas, and coal energy production. China is shutting down their economy over Covid.

Inflation remain that high and higher during the last half of the 1970s and early part of the 80s.

BTW the breakeven rate on the 10 year tips is defined to be the rate on the 10 year nominal minus the tips real rate. 2.86% minus .2% as of today.

As to bank rates, you are comparing apples to oranges.

For example, tips and treasury notes are back by the full faith and credit of the US government while banks are backed by FDIC which is not backed by full faith and credit.

interest on treasury securities is not taxable by the states while bank interest is. That makes a big difference in my high tax state of California.

I can buy large amounts of tips at my Fidelity account without having to run around opening accounts at miscellaneous banks and credit unions and jumping through their hoops to not go over the fdic limit. This is particularly important in IRAs which are a pain in the ass to move from one institution to another.t

No, we’ll just have a 2.2T deficit instead of 1T deficit :money_mouth_face:.