Treasury Sold $3.4 Billion in I Bonds This Week as Investors Rushed to Get 9.62% Rate

Oct. 28 is the last opportunity for investors to buy I Bonds that earn an interest rate of 9.62%. However, rising demand for inflation-adjusted bonds has hurt TreasuryDirect’s position and the Treasury Department said it could not guarantee orders would be completed on time.

Many vendors managed to beat the clock and technical difficulties. As of 4 p.m. ET, nearly 69,000 accounts had been created and more than $710 million in I Bonds had been purchased on Friday alone, the Treasury said. That brings I Bond sales this week to about $3.4 billion so far, the Treasury said. Five thousand new accounts were created per hour on Friday, the Treasury said.

Michael Erat and his wife, Linda Erat, were among the thousands who did well.

After eight hours of fighting with the TreasuryDirect website, Mr. Erat bought a $10,000 I Bond share.

Mr. Erat, who lives in northeastern Pennsylvania, said: “It was a difficult eight hours.

Mrs. Erat was able to buy the goods in about half the time of her husband.

Some were unable to access TreasuryDirect or log into their accounts to purchase I Bonds. Interest rates are expected to drop to around 6.47% from Nov. 1, when the new number is announced.

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Secured, fixed-rate, inflation-adjusted bonds show little interest over many years. They became prime movers in 2022 when inflation hit a decade high, markets tanked, and investors looked for a safe place to park their money.

When the deadline for the 9.62% rate is approaching this week, the government’s TreasuryDirect site, the only place for investors to directly buy I Bonds, became one of the many visited websites of the federal government, officials said, and experienced a shutdown for several days this week. .

However, many investors continue to experience difficulties accessing and accessing the site.

Todd Miller, who lives in Camarillo, Calif., was unable to open his TreasuryDirect account. She has been trying for days to get help, calling the local helpline and waiting two hours. He was told on Friday by a customer representative that due to the expiration of the plan, he will not be able to open his account in time to pay the rate of 9.62% I Bond.

“I think the government should extend the time frame for this sale,” said Mr. Miller.

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“We’ve had TreasuryDirect volume triple in the last day and we continue to see customers create accounts and buy bonds at record levels. Additional additions to TreasuryDirect in the final days of the rate window, such as the delay in the rate change on Nov. 1, could increase risk. great to the integrity of the administration,” said a Treasury spokesman.

“Due to unprecedented requests for new accounts, we cannot guarantee that customers will be able to complete purchases at the current rate of 9.62% by the deadline of Oct. 28. The TreasuryDirect system is still processing completed transactions,” said a spokesperson.

If the customer receives confirmation that their purchase has been made or completed by 11:59:59 pm ET on Oct. 28, then the payment will be processed, the spokesman said.

The Treasury Department said Friday it will take the online TreasuryDirect account management system over Saturday and Sunday for processing.

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“The processing time will ensure that TreasuryDirect is able to properly process the amount of money purchased in the last 24 hours,” Treasury said on its website.

Customers who complete the purchase of I Bonds before the repair begins will receive 9.62% for six months, the Treasury said.

TreasuryDirect will reopen for account creation and purchases on Monday, Oct. 31. From Monday, purchases will receive a rate that will be published on Tuesday, Nov. 1, Treasury said.

Consumers regularly go to social media to complain about the TreasuryDirect website and sometimes go the extra mile to buy their I Bond.

“TreasuryDirect’s website is not known for its user-friendliness,” said Elliot Pepper, a financial planner in Baltimore.

It’s not just people trying to buy I Bonds who are disappointed by the site’s demise.

Investors may not purchase or redeem T-Bonds, Treasury notes, or T-bills through TreasuryDirect if they are unable to access the site or access it due to high demand.

Contact Veronica Dagher at [email protected]

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