The Motley Fool on emergency funds

Friday, November 17th, 2006
Categorized as: Savings Bonds and competitive investments

One of the mantras you’ll see over and over again on this web site and in my book is that Series I Savings Bonds are a great choice for the low-risk portion of your investment portfolio.

Everyone should have enough money to live at least six months in an emergency fund. The best place for your emergency money is an investment that’s liquid. Liquid means that you can cash in the investment at any time with no chance that you’ll get back less than you put in.

Investments based on traditional bonds or the stock market don’t work for this. If the market’s down when you need the money, you have no choice but to take the loss.

The Motley Fool is a well-known investment web site that’s mostly about those traditional stock and bond investments, but yesterday even the fools took investors aside to talk about I bonds as a good place for your emergency fund in the article Inflate Your Savings.

Rate this post (1 to 5 stars):  1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(Average rating: 5.00 stars)

FDIC Insured Certificates of Deposit can pay 1 or 2% more than savings bonds when held for a similar length of time. See top CD Rates Below:


On November 17th, 2006 Ferdinand Francisco said:

I would point out a caveat with putting your emergency funds in I bonds – the twelve month restriction on redemption. Woe to the person who moved their entire fund into I bonds and then needed it six months later.

If taking this path, I would recommend laddering into I bonds by spacing out purchases perhaps quarterly. If one wanted the security of Treasury obligations, the “unladdered” funds could perhaps be parked in notes or marketable securities.

On November 18th, 2006 Tom Adams said:

Ferdinand – Good point. I agree.

Tom Adams

On November 19th, 2006 Ken said:

Seems like I-bonds could also come in handy for those who retire early before they’re eligible for penalty-free withdrawals from their 401K/IRA.

During that time, you could just redeem the I-bonds that you need to pay for your expenses. If you have like $40K in expenses, just redeem $40K value in I-bonds. If half of that is interest, then you would have a very low tax rate. In that case you could almost consider the I-Bonds as tax-free.

Comments Closed

June 1, 2010

After six years, over 400 posts, 3,680 real comments, and over 90,000 spam comments (thank you, Akismet, for making managing a blog with comments possible), I am closing public comments on I will contine to update the main articles on this site, but not the comments.

Virtually every question about Savings Bonds has been asked and answered on this site multiple times. Use the search feature (see the box in the gray area near the top of this page) or the detailed menu on the lower part of the home page to find the information you're looking for. If you have a copy of Savings Bond Advisor, you can ask me a question here.

Tom Adams

Savings Bond Calculator


Savings Bond

Get an answer to your questions from the Treasury's Savings Bonds team.

Click below to ask a question.

Ask the Treasury


Invest online in Savings Bonds or
marketable Treasury securities.

Deal directly with the U.S. Treasury.

More info


Log in