I agree that the guaranteed rate of return will be considerably less than 5%. However, I still think I-Bonds are a great place to park money for the next year - especially for bonds bought before the end of October.I would take issue with what you state as "short term game playing" that "goes counter to their stated purpose". I think it's a bit naive to be so dogmatic about how one invests in i-bonds. you can certainly argue the merits about whether it's a good investment or not, but please don't talk about some stated purpose. If you read the info on publicdebt.treas.gov, it simly provides information on how i-bonds work and what the restrictions are (i.e. must hold for a year and the interest penalty if cashed before 5 years) - nothing about some intended purpose.For those who need a low-risk place to park money for a year, i-bonds are excellent. If the U.S treasury wants to change the rules, fine, but in the meantime, individual investors should make decisions based on their individual investment objectives.Personally, I'm parking my money in i-bonds in the short term to save money for when my wife and start a family, and she leaves work for a while. Do feel the least bit guilty that I'm not planning to hold i-bonds longer than a year or two? Not one bit!Ben
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