But if the recent economic uncertainty has taught us anything, it's that everyone, kids and old fogies alike, should have at least a portion of their investments in fairly safe investments. Savings bonds fit the bill -- especially if you buy series I inflation-indexed savings bonds.

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Historical Composite
I Bond Rates

The composite rate of the I Bond at any time is based on the Fixed Value and the Variable Value. The Rate is based on the following formula established by the Treasury:

Composite Rate = Fixed rate + 2 * CPI-U Rate +
(Fixed rate * CPI-U Rate)

Historical Initial Variable Rates

Mean: 3.74%
Median: 3.91%
Highest rate: 7.49%
Lowest rate: 0.00%
Issue DateInital Composite Rate
November 2014 1.48%
May 2014 1.94%
November 2013 1.38%
May 2013 1.18%
November 2012 1.76%
May 2012 2.20%
November 2011 3.06%
May 2011 4.60%
November 2010 0.74%
May 2010 1.74%
November 2009 3.36%
May 2009 0.00%
November 2008 5.64%
May 2008 4.84%
November 2007 4.28%
May 2007 3.74%
November 2006 4.52%
May 2006 2.41%
November 2005 6.73%
May 2005 4.80%
November 2004 3.67%
May 2004 3.39%
November 2003 2.19%
May 2003 4.66%
November 2002 4.08%
May 2002 2.57%
November 2001 4.40%
May 2001 5.92%
November 2000 6.49%
May 2000 7.49%
November 1999 6.98%
May 1999 5.05%
November 1998 5.05%
September 1998 4.66%

This graph shows the value of a new I Bond's rate for the first 6 months. After 6 months, the variable rate would change based on changes in the CPI-U rate.

Page last modified 9/25/2011