Clark Howard: Keep an eye on savings bonds

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Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Listen to Clark’s live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB. Are you unhappy with the low interest rates on savings accounts and CDs? The federal government could help you temporarily earn close to 2 percent on your money. In the past, I’ve spoken with great enthusiasm about Series I U.S. savings bonds. Throughout the late 1990s and early last decade, they were a phenomenal deal. If you bought I bonds during the sweet spot, I advise you to hold those notes for the full 30-year term. Series I bonds have a two-part interest rate. There’s a fixed rate that today sits at zero. Then there’s a floating rate based on inflation — that’s what the “I” in Series I stands for. During the next six months, that floating rate is .88 percent, which is 1.76 percent annualized over 12 months. So at this ?


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