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.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.