There’s a Low-Risk Way for Investors to Earn 9.62% Returns Right Now

Markets are slumping. Crypto has cratered. Yet one corner of the financial world continues to offer investors strong, low-risk returns: Humble I bonds.

Sales of US Series I savings bonds remained elevated in June at $3.4 billion, surging more than 950% compared to the same month last year, according to Treasury Department data published Thursday. Droves of Americans have snapped up the government bonds that offer inflation-adjusted yields in recent months, with June’s tally dipping slightly from April and May.

“You are currently receiving an annual interest rate of 9.62%, which is very competitive with the long-term S&P 500 returns,” said Elliot Pepper, a financial planner and director of tax at Northbrook Financial in Baltimore. “But unlike the S&P 500, which year-to-date is down 20% or so, you don’t have any sort of downside risk because the I bond is issued by the US government.”

Low-risk, high-return options are few and far between for investors right now. In June, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 75 basis points — the biggest increase since 1994 — on concerns about inflation, which is at a 40-year high. This has hammered both stocks and bonds, and made any asset that rises alongside inflation look particularly attractive.

Here’s what financial advisers say investors should know about I bonds now: