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How Can I Buy Series I Bonds for My Portfolio?

4 Easy and Quick Ways to Invest in I Savings Bonds

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How To Buy Series I Savings Bonds for Your Savings Bond Portfolio

There are four easy ways to buy Series I savings bonds for your savings bond portfolio. Depending upon your own needs and preferences, you can take delivery of physical paper bonds or buy your bonds electronically online.

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Now that you've learned all of the great features of the Series I savings bonds, you may be ready to add them to your portfolio. How, exactly, do you go about invest in I bonds? There are four easy ways. By taking advantage of them, you can start earning interest income on your bond investments in no time.

One note: As you learned in the Series I savings bond annual purchase limits article, you are limited to the total amount you can invest in Series I savings bonds by the way you purchase each bond. You can buy up to $5,000 in physical paper certificates and $5,000 in electronically registered bonds through the TreasuryDirect program, or $10,000 total, each year.

1. Buy Electronic Series I Savings Bonds Through TreasuryDirect

The United States Treasury Department has its own online account system called TreasuryDirect. Opening an account with TreasuryDirect is just like opening a checking or savings account at your local bank. Once you've been approved, you can begin buying Series I savings bonds immediately. The savings bonds are issued directly to your account in electronic format (you won't receive a paper bond certificate using this method of investing in I bonds). A big benefit of this method is that you can invest any amount you want of $25 or more, to the penny, into Series I bonds. That means if you have $87.23, you can put it to work, instead of having to buy only $50 or $100 bonds. For small investors, this is a great benefit that makes saving or investing easier. It also makes it much easier to follow a dollar cost averaging program because you can instruct the system to automatically make investments for you and regular intervals.

2. Buying Series I Savings Bonds at Your Local Bank or Financial Institution

Most local banks sell Series I savings bonds on behalf of the Treasury. You can walk in the doors, go up to the teller, and say you would like to buy an I bond. They will point you in the right direction. The Series I bonds are issued at face value; e.g., a $50 bond cost you $50. After you've paid for your bond and filled out the ownership information, you'll receive the printed saving bond certificate in the mail within 15 business days.

3. Online Financial Institutions and Sites Issue Series I Savings Bonds

Depending upon the sophistication of your financial institution, you may be able to purchase Series I savings bonds through the bank's online site, saving you a trip to the local branch. When you purchase Series I savings bonds online, you should receive the paper bond certificates within 15 business days. The bonds are issued by the United States Treasury and arrive through the mail.

4. Investing in Series I Savings Bonds Through Employer Payroll Savings Plans

Some employers have created payroll savings plans that allow you to invest in Series I savings bonds through regular payroll deductions. By not seeing the money, you are effectively following the pay yourself first strategy.

More About the Series I Savings Bond

You can read our Guide to Investing in Series I Savings Bonds. This will walk you through tons of information about savings bonds, especially the series I savings bond, including how you can add them to your portfolio, annual purchase limits, ownership requirements, tax benefits, and much more.

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