Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Discussion of the Cash portion of the Permanent Portfolio

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MarketIfTouched
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Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Post by MarketIfTouched » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:02 pm

Throughout the 80's and 90's I purchased EE Savings Bonds through my employers 'payroll savings plan'.

And then in the early 00's a couple/few I Bonds, I think through an online form at the US Treasury website. (Pretty sure I didn't create an account, even if that was available at the time, just purchased and received the hard copy bond.)

I am pretty sure I did a good job of keeping the physical bonds over the years.

And I am now realizing 30 years have passed by for my first set of bonds and thus they have matured.

So, my question, most just as a double check given all the time that has passed, can I obtain a list of all my outstanding Savings Bonds (EE/I)?

Does the USG provide such a service?
barrett
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Re: Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Post by barrett » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:28 am

I really doubt that the USG has records going back that far but hopefully I am wrong about that. One year I exceeded the buying limit by one bond and that sailed through (hopefully it's not an issue when redeeming). But I'd be curious to know if you get anywhere with this. My understanding is that a list of bond serial numbers kept separately from the bonds is the way to protect yourself.

Although, if that is really the case, there should be a huge database so the government can check up on claims of lost or stolen bonds. Please report back.
Last edited by barrett on Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Post by jhogue » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:29 pm

The US Treasury will not provide you with a list of bonds that you bought. Everyone who invests in US savings bonds should make their own list of bonds and keep an updated copy of that list in a secure place, like a bank safe deposit box.

If your paper EE bonds were lost, stolen, or destroyed, you can make a claim for them by filling out form FS1048, available via the Treasury Direct website. The Bureau of Fiscal Services, which runs the savings bond program, is not required to provide lists to purchasers of bonds. Don't confuse the Treasury with your banker or broker.

I would also note that when your older EE bonds reach 30 year maturity, the amount of your gain on the purchase is taxable for that year, whether you have redeemed them or not. Like barrett, I have heard of people who (accidentally) bought savings bonds beyond their specified limit and did not suffer a penalty. Like most transactions with the feds, I would not advise testing them out.
“Groucho Marx wrote:
A stock trader asked him, "Groucho, where do you put all your money?" Groucho was said to have replied, "In Treasury bonds", and the trader said, "You can't make much money on those." Groucho said, "You can if you have enough of them!"
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Re: Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Post by MarketIfTouched » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:33 pm

Thank you barrett and jhogue.

Yep, I was wondering thtat if the gov't could handle a case of a stolen/lost/destroyed bonds, then they might be able to provide a list.

It's reasonable to me though that the gov't isn't in a position to provide a list of any/all bonds outstanding for an individual, that it is up the individual to store off the serial numbers, and keep the bonds themselves in a self place. That is exactly what I am doing now, but maybe not so much when I was a youngin'. ;)

Thank you also very much for the information that taxes are due upon maturity not redemption. I did think it was when you redeemed, so I appreciate you taking the time to comment.
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Re: Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Post by jhogue » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:06 pm

Sorry I could not offer you more help.

I will be watching the yield curve and interest rates carefully before the 11/1/18 reset. I think it quite possible that the Treasury will revise the fixed and/or variable I bond rate. Possibly the EE bond rate too, but that seems less likely at the moment.
“Groucho Marx wrote:
A stock trader asked him, "Groucho, where do you put all your money?" Groucho was said to have replied, "In Treasury bonds", and the trader said, "You can't make much money on those." Groucho said, "You can if you have enough of them!"
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Re: Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Post by barrett » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:28 am

jhogue wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:06 pm
I will be watching the yield curve and interest rates carefully before the 11/1/18 reset. I think it quite possible that the Treasury will revise the fixed and/or variable I bond rate. Possibly the EE bond rate too, but that seems less likely at the moment.
The CPI-U data for February - August would put the variable rate at about 2.53% but we still need to see what the official September inflation data is. The last fixed rate for the November to April period was .3%, so maybe we are looking at something in the 2.83% area based on today's numbers.

jhogue, I am curious what potentially useful information you are looking for in the yield curve.
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Re: Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Post by jhogue » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:51 pm

I have been studying the yield curve for about a year now, hoping to use it as a leading indicator on inflation/deflation and, hence, prospective I-bond and EE-bond rates.

Over the last year, the 1 year T bill rate has risen 137 basis points. In the same time period, the I bond rate has risen just 56 basis points.

Over the last year, the 20 year T note has risen 28 basis points. In the same time period, the EE bond rate has remained unchanged.

The compression of both those spreads leads me to think that Treasury will feel pressure to increase the fixed rates for both I bonds and EE bonds. Especially if the Fed carries out its promise to increase shot term rates.
“Groucho Marx wrote:
A stock trader asked him, "Groucho, where do you put all your money?" Groucho was said to have replied, "In Treasury bonds", and the trader said, "You can't make much money on those." Groucho said, "You can if you have enough of them!"
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Re: Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Post by barrett » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:30 pm

I see, thanks.

I've often wondered what the total dollar amount is on all outstanding savings bonds. And with the 20 year doubling guarantee on EE Bonds, I would think the government would want to make the individual annual purchasing limits higher. The implicit message is "Don't ask for your money back until 2038."

Not to mention that judging from some Boglehead threads, there are obviously people out there who just misplace savings bonds over the years without adequate record keeping. Or they have some sitting around that are past their maturity dates. That would seem to be the USG's favorite kind of debt!

On a side note, I took a page out of Sophie's book about a year or so ago and have built one-year treasury ladders for my STT positions. From my point of view that has been the sweet spot on the yield curve.

Also, interesting that you should post something on the yield curve yesterday when there was finally a bit of divergence between the long and short ends.
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Re: Obtain List of My Savings Bonds (EE/I) Outstanding?

Post by jhogue » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:24 pm

I don't have the figures in front of me, but I am pretty certain that US savings bonds do not now account for anywhere near the percentage of Treasury debt that they did in World War II and the following couple of decades.

I agree that the 1 year T bill (currently at 2.59%) looks like the best value of yield vs. maturity for HBPP Cash right now. They don't have the tax deferral and re-set qualities of I bonds (currently at 2.52%), but you don't have to hold them for 5 years in a rising rate environment either.
“Groucho Marx wrote:
A stock trader asked him, "Groucho, where do you put all your money?" Groucho was said to have replied, "In Treasury bonds", and the trader said, "You can't make much money on those." Groucho said, "You can if you have enough of them!"
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