Income has never been harder to come by from investments, and millions of Americans are looking to get more cash from their portfolios. But one oft-forgotten investment has done a good job of providing income, and its terms just got a little more attractive.
In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, discusses how Series I savings bonds from the federal government provide a risk-free way of generating income. Dan notes that recently, the U.S. Treasury raised the rates on so-called I bonds by two-tenths of a percentage point, providing investors with a real return on their investment even after considering inflation. That might not sound like all that big a deal, but Dan points out that it's better than you'll get from similar investments such as the Vanguard Short-Term Inflation Protected Bond ETF (NASDAQ:VTIP) or the iShares 0-5 Year TIPS Bond ETF (NYSEMKT:STIP). Indeed, to get positive real rates, you have to turn to iShares Barclays TIPS Bond (NYSEMKT:TIP) and its much longer maturity, which introduces greater interest rate risk.
Dan goes through some of the features of I bonds, which include flexible maturity and the ability to cash them in after one year. Even with a limit on purchases, Dan concludes that I bonds can make a reasonable investment for income-seeking investors in the current climate.