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No. of Recommendations: 0
New bonds issued May through October will pay a puny 2.57% through the next six months.

EE bonds are down only slightly, to 3.96%.

Hope you bought your I-bonds a few days ago. I haven't seen a fixed rate component posted yet, but I'm guessing it's probably only about 1%. That's down from 3.6% a couple years ago. And that's just the fixed rate portion!

So much for that alternative, at least for now...

#29, glad he loaded up when the fixed rate component was 3.4%
No. of Recommendations: 0
The fixed component remains at 2%. See http://www.savingsbonds.gov/sav/sbirate2.htm

jtmitch
No. of Recommendations: 2
According to

http://www.savingsbonds.gov/sav/sbirate2.htm

the fixed rate remained at 2%.

The inflation number is 0.28%, which when combined with the fixed rate using the formula

Composite rate = [Fixed rate + 2 x Inflation rate + (Inflation rate X Fixed rate)] X 100
Composite rate = [0.0200 + 2 x 0.0028 + (0.0028 X 0.0200)] X 100
Composite rate = [0.0200 + 0.0056 + 0.000056] X 100
Composite rate = [0.025656] X 100
Composite rate = 0.0257 X 100
Composite rate = 2.57%

If you have a surplus of I-bonds with a 2% fixed rate, cash them in before they start earning peanuts. It's simple to find bank accounts paying more than 2.57% (although they're not tax-deferred).
No. of Recommendations: 0
You can get Nuveen tax frees paying over 7% these days.
No. of Recommendations: 0
Where in the world did those numbers come from?

My cable notice yesterday had an increase of about 11 to 12%.

Think I could send it in to our FRB chairman, asking if it was
taken into consideration when determining the inflation rate?
Maybe not, but it is a nice thought :)

-upatnite2
No. of Recommendations: 0
You can get Nuveen tax frees paying over 7% these days.

What is that? Wow....
Anxiously waiting!!
No. of Recommendations: 4
Wow. The people who say the CPI-U rose only 0.28% in the last six months must be living in an alternate universe. It obviously doesn't include gasoline, health care, or any number of other things...

They REALLY need to fix how the inflation numbers are crunched.

#29
No. of Recommendations: 0
Nuveen: look at NSL and NQS traded on the NYSE.
No. of Recommendations: 0
Another good reason to avoid I-Bonds; they get to decide what index is used for inflation. At least with EE bonds, the long term bond market decides the rate.
No. of Recommendations: 2
I must say, I'm surprised. The inflation rate is in line of what we were expecting (mmaybe a bit low, but no one expected over 1%). What is intriguing is that not only is this the first time I-bonds have ever come in below, or even close to, EE bonds, we're talking losing out by almost 1.4%.

I'm reading this as an ominous sign (eh, Charlie?). They think inflation is going through the roof, so they don't dare go over the 2% fixed rate, even though they probably won't be selling a whole lot of I-bonds.

And, to anyone who is excited about having gotten an I-bond before the rate change, don't forget in 6 months you'll be getting 2.57% for the following 6 months, unless you cash in and lose 3 months interest and pay your taxes. Glad I stuck to CDs.
No. of Recommendations: 2
And, to anyone who is excited about having gotten an I-bond before the rate change, don't forget in 6 months you'll be getting 2.57% for the following 6 months, unless you cash in and lose 3 months interest and pay your taxes. Glad I stuck to CDs.

At this stage of my life -- young; about to be married; no children -- the only thing I can see using savings bonds for is the less liquid portion of my emergency fund. For this role, I want a set-it-and-forget-it place to stash my money. My requirements for this investment are as follows: (1) principle is safe; (2) likely to return more than my brokerage account's MMF sweep; (3) no hassles. For me, savings bonds make a lot of sense in this role and over the next year or two, I plan to gradually move much of my emergency money to savings bonds.

Now...that said, I ran some calculations given the last 5 years of I-bond inflation rates and various fixed rates and compared these to the EE-bond rates for the same period. Granted, this is a limited sample size...but it appears that the "break-even" point where both bonds have the same average return occurs when the fixed-rate portion of I-bonds is at about 2.5% (actually slightly below 2.5% so far). At higher fixed-rates, you are better off in I-bonds; at lower fixed-rates, you are better off in EE-bonds.

Given this, I am thinking I should probably go with EE-bonds for my emergency fund "investments" over the next 6 months. Any thoughts from the bond masters?

ACME
No. of Recommendations: 3
Here's some additional info the the Nuveen ETF's.

The highest "Fed tax exempt" ETF here seems to be: NPM with a yield of
6.70%. Definitely worth getting more info on. I grabbed the ETF symbols below from one of Nuveen's pdf files and yahoo was kind enough to provide the criteria I asked for. If anything's missing, it can be easily added.

All of the dividends from these funds, with the exception of the Nuveen Senior Income Fund (NSL) and the Real Estate Income Fund (JRS), are free from regular Federal income tax. There were no dividend changes from the previous month.
Dividends from Nuveen's national municipal exchange-traded funds and portfolios are exempt from regular Federal income taxes, while dividends of single-state municipal funds and portfolios are also exempt from state and, in some cases, local income taxes for in-state residents. Dividends of the
municipal funds and portfolios may be subject to the Federal Alternative Minimum Tax for some shareholders.
`Symbol Name           Last    Change   Ex-Div Div/Shr Yield NXP NUV SEL TX FREE  14.23 +0.21 +1.50% Apr 11 0.85 6.08 NXQ NUV SEL TX FREE  13.54 -0.02 -0.15% Apr 11 0.83 6.15 NXR NUV SEL TX FREE  13.33 +0.01 +0.08% Apr 11 0.80 5.99 NXC NUVEEN CAL SEL   14.58 +0.13 +0.90% Apr 11 0.77 5.31 NXN NUVEEN NY SEL    13.70 +0.02 +0.15% Apr 11 0.72 5.26 NUV NUVEEN MUNI VAL   9.41 +0.05 +0.53% Apr 11 0.51 5.45 NCA NUVEEN CAL VAL    9.90 +0.05 +0.51% Apr 11 0.52 5.24 NNY NUVEEN NY VAL     9.20 +0.03 +0.33% Apr 11 0.49 5.30 NMI NUVEEN MUN INCM  10.31 +0.06 +0.59% Apr 11 0.60 5.85 NIM NUVEEN SELECT    10.19  0.00  0.00% Apr 11 0.55 5.42 NPI NUVEEN PREMIUM   14.08 +0.04 +0.28% Apr 11 0.91 6.45 NPP NUVEEN PERFORM   14.35 +0.12 +0.84% Apr 11 0.89 6.28 NMA NUVEEN MUN ADV   14.80 +0.10 +0.68% Apr 11 0.94 6.41 NMO NUVEEN MUNI      14.30 +0.04 +0.28% Apr 11 0.91 6.40 NQM NUVEEN INV QUAL  14.54 +0.06 +0.41% Apr 11 0.94 6.46 NQI NUVEEN INS QUAL  15.17 +0.12 +0.80% Apr 11 0.91 6.06 NQS NUVEEN SELECT    14.37 +0.10 +0.70% Apr 11 0.93 6.52 NQU NUVEEN QUALITY   14.09 +0.06 +0.43% Apr 11 0.92 6.59 NIO NUVEEN INS MUNI  14.92 -0.02 -0.13% Apr 11 0.92 6.14 NPF NUVEEN MUNI      14.40 +0.15 +1.05% Apr 11 0.96 6.74 NIF NUVEEN PRE INS   15.12  0.00  0.00% Apr 11 0.94 6.23 NPM NUVEEN PREMIUM   14.48 +0.06 +0.42% Apr 11 0.97 6.70 NPT NUV PREM INCM    13.17 +0.17 +1.31% Apr 11 0.85 6.55 NPX NUVEEN INS PREM  13.48 +0.03 +0.22% Apr 11 0.82 6.11 NAD NUVEEN DIV ADV   14.85 +0.12 +0.81% Apr 11 0.93 6.31 NXZ NUVEEN DIV 2     14.10  0.00  0.00% Apr 11 0.91 6.43 NZF NUVEEN DV ADV 3  13.88 +0.03 +0.22% Apr 11 0.91 6.54 NCP NUVEEN CAL PER   14.55 +0.03 +0.21% Apr 11 0.89 6.16 NCO NUVEEN CAL MKT   14.89 +0.14 +0.95% Apr 11 0.91 6.14 NQC NUVEEN CAL INV   15.15  0.00  0.00% Apr 11 0.92 6.06 NVC NUVEEN CALIF SEL 15.00 -0.04 -0.27% Apr 11 0.91 6.06 NUC NUVEEN CAL QUAL  15.73 +0.15 +0.96% Apr 11 0.97 6.24 NPC NUV INS CA PREM  15.38 +0.02 +0.13% Apr 11 0.87 5.66 NCL NUV CA PREM      14.55 +0.06 +0.41% Apr 11 0.84 5.80 NCU NUVEEN CA PREM   13.56 +0.04 +0.30% Apr 11 0.83 6.12 NAC NUVEEN CA DIV    14.40 +0.01 +0.07% Apr 11 0.87 6.05 NVX NUVEEN CA DIV 2  14.29 +0.10 +0.70% Apr 11 0.88 6.17 NZH NUVEEN CA DV ADV 13.82 -0.01 -0.07% N/A N/A N/A NUF NUVEEN FLA QUAL  15.59 -0.05 -0.32% Apr 11 0.97 6.21 NFL NUVEEN INS FLA   15.48 +0.28 +1.84% Apr 11 0.89 5.84 NNP NUVEEN NY PERF   15.09 +0.01 +0.07% Apr 11 0.93 6.17 NQN NUVEEN NY INV    14.90 +0.17 +1.15% Apr 11 0.89 6.03 NVN NUVEEN NY SELECT 14.61 +0.06 +0.41% Apr 11 0.89 6.14 NUN NUVEEN NY QUAL   14.55 +0.03 +0.21% Apr 11 0.88 6.07 NNF NUVEEN INS NY    15.19 +0.11 +0.73% Apr 11 0.88 5.85 NAN NUVEEN NY DIV    14.22 +0.02 +0.14% Apr 11 0.86 6.04 NXK NUVEEN NY DIV 2  13.96 +0.16 +1.16% Apr 11 0.85 6.17 NAZ NUVEEN ARIZONA   16.35 -0.05 -0.30% Apr 11 0.89 5.45 NFZ NUVEEN ARIZONA   15.63 +0.30 +1.96% Apr 11 0.84 5.48 NFC NUVEEN CT DIV    15.30 -0.06 -0.39% Apr 11 0.84 5.47 NTC NUVEEN CONN      16.16 +0.02 +0.12% Apr 11 0.85 5.28 NPG NUVEEN GA PREM   15.54 -0.01 -0.06% Apr 11 0.86 5.52 NZX NUVEEN GA DV ADV 14.72 -0.04 -0.27% N/A N/A N/A NFM NUVEEN MD DIV    15.19 -0.04 -0.26% Apr 11 0.84 5.52 NMY NUVEEN MD PREM   15.25 +0.10 +0.66% Apr 11 0.86 5.66 NZR NUVEEN MD DV ADV 14.53  0.00  0.00% N/A N/A N/A NMB NUVEEN MA DIV    15.85 -0.03 -0.19% Apr 11 0.88 5.52 NMT NUVEEN MA PREM   15.62 +0.05 +0.32% Apr 11 0.84 5.39 NUM NUVEEN MICHIGAN  15.45 +0.05 +0.32% Apr 11 0.91 5.88 NMP NUVEEN MICH      14.51 +0.15 +1.04% Apr 11 0.86 6.02 NZW NUVEEN MI DV ADV 14.15 -0.10 -0.70% N/A N/A N/A NOM NUVEEN MISOURI   15.50  0.00  0.00% Apr 11 0.83 5.38 NQJ NUVEEN NJ INV    15.11 +0.11 +0.73% Apr 11 0.92 6.12 NNJ NUVEEN NJ PREM   14.87 +0.17 +1.16% Apr 11 0.86 5.88 NXJ NUVEEN NJ DIV    14.00 +0.02 +0.14% Apr 11 0.85 6.09 NNC NUVEEN N CAROL   15.45 +0.05 +0.32% Apr 11 0.83 5.42 NRB NUVEEN NC DIV    15.02 +0.02 +0.13% Apr 11 0.83 5.52 NNO NUVEEN NC DIV 2  15.00 +0.01 +0.07% Apr 11 0.82 5.48 NUO NUVEEN OH QUAL   17.19 +0.14 +0.82% Apr 11 0.94 5.52 NXI NUVEEN OH DIV    15.01 -0.04 -0.27% Apr 11 0.88 5.82 NBJ NUVEEN OH DV ADV 14.25 -0.20 -1.38% N/A N/A N/A NQP NUVEEN PENN INV  14.73 +0.09 +0.61% Apr 11 0.91 6.23 NPY NUVEEN PA PREM   14.25 +0.09 +0.64% Apr 11 0.89 6.27 NXM NUVEEN PA DIV    14.45 +0.21 +1.47% Apr 11 0.88 6.19 NTX NUVEEN TEXAS     14.93  0.00  0.00% Apr 11 0.94 6.27 NPV NUVEEN VA PREM   15.76 +0.30 +1.94% Apr 11 0.87 5.63 NGB NUVEEN VA DIV    14.30  0.00  0.00% Apr 11 0.85 5.92 NNB NUVEEN VA DIV 2  14.50 +0.02 +0.14% Apr 11 0.83 5.72 NSL NUVEEN SENIOR     7.72 +0.02 +0.26% Apr 11 0.59 7.64 JRS NUVEEN RL ESTATE 15.95 -0.02 -0.13% Apr 11 1.35 8.45 `
No. of Recommendations: 0
Even if you lose 3 months' interest, if the difference in interest rates is high enough, you can make up the difference in under a year, based on some quick spreadsheet estimation.

It looks like it makes the most sense to wait to switch until the bonds have been at 2.57% for three months. That way you get the full benefit of the 4.40% rate.