Two Letters Re: U.S. Treasury Bonds

James Wesley:
I recently inherited several U.S. Savings Bonds, Series EE. Do you recommend that I keep them, or cash them in so I can get better prepared? (We only have about two months of storage food here at our house.) How do I find out if the bonds are still earning interest, and what they are currently worth? Thank you, – C.C.

JWR Replies: You are right about recognizing priorities. You can’t eat bonds. If the bonds have fully matured, then by all means cash them in. You can check of the status of most bonds at the Treasury Direct web site.


Mr. Rawles,
You once mentioned Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS). Do you still recommend them? Assuming they are still a good investment, which brokerage house should I use to minimize the fees? – Robert L. in Michigan

JWR Replies: Since further inflation of the U.S. dollar is inevitable, and significantly higher levels of inflation are likely n coming years, I still consider TIPS a great investment for any extra cash that you have on hand. That is, after getting your food storage squared away, after investing 25% of your portfolio in precious metals, and after investing as much as 50% in a productive retreat property. (By that iI mean farm or ranching land in a lightly populated area that is well removed from major population centers and away from likely refugee lines of drift.)

It is probably best to buy TIPS directly from the U.S. Treasury.