All about the Savings Bond Guru

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005
Categorized as: Current value of a US Savings Bond

If you have just a couple of Savings Bonds and you want to know what they’re worth or what interest rate they’re earning, you can find out in a few seconds using my own US Savings Bonds Calculator.

If you’re a true Savings Bond investor, on the other hand, my simple calculator is pretty limited. Its big problem is that when you return next time, you’ll have to re-enter all your Savings Bonds. For a couple of bonds this isn’t a big deal, but for lots of bonds it’s a problem.

The Treasury offers two ways to find out the current redemption value and interest rates of your Savings Bonds. One is online and the other is downloadable software for Windows computers.

The Treasury’s online Savings Bond Calculator is a bit more sophisticated than mine, but not much. Where mine will show you only today’s redemption value and interest rate for a Savings Bond, the Treasury’s allows you to enter other valuation dates. And it offers some footnotes about some of your bonds. But there’s still no obvious way to save your bond data for next time.

If saving your bond data for next time is a feature you need, you have two choices.

The Treasury’s Savings Bond Wizard software saves the data about your bonds in a file on your computer. But to use it you have to have a Windows computer, you have to download and install it, and every six months you have to update it with new Savings Bond data from the Treasury’s Savings Bond web site. If your computer crashes, you lose your data. If you change computers, you have to move your files.

The Savings Bond Guru is online software that automatically saves your data for next time. Instead of the footnotes the Treasury’s products use, the Guru color codes the bonds that need your attention. Like the other three programs, you can use it for free, but after 14 days you have to buy a subscription to keep your account open.

Why would I recommend that you pay for something the Treasury offers for free? Basically, because you get what you pay for.

The Savings Bond Guru has a major feature all the other products lack – it emails you a monthly statement about your Savings Bond portfolio. The Treasury never sends you anything equivalent to what banks, mutual funds, and brokers send out on a monthly basis. I think of the Guru fee as a very inexpensive way to get this service.

In addition, the Guru backs up your data. You don’t have to worry about losing it when you change computers. You don’t have to update it with new Savings Bond data every six months. It’s all automatic. All you have to do is remember – and protect – your password.

It’s a lot easier to sign up for the Savings Bond Guru than to download and install the Treasury’s Wizard. You have to fill out a little form with your email address, password, name, and zip code, but it takes just a few seconds to begin entering your Savings Bonds and seeing what they’re worth.

If you do try out the Savings Bond Guru, tell them you found out about their web site from Tom Adams.

Feel free to comment below on your experiences with any of these Savings Bond calculators.

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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:

4 Comments

On June 21st, 2007 John G. Parisi said:

I like the Savings Bond Guru: US Savings Bonds. I used it once to excellent advantage. I tried tonight to use it and am having a diffucult time an unable get into the Savings Bond Guru.

On June 22nd, 2007 Tom Adams said:

John – to contact the Savings Bond Guru people about your problems go to the contact page on their web site.

Tom Adams

On August 27th, 2009 Vince said:

Tom, the current version of the Treasury’s online Savings Bond Calculator allows you to save the information to your computer as a HTML file. Select the HOW TO SAVE YOUR INVENTORY button from the Savings Bond Calculator web page for instructions for your Internet browser (As of the date of this comment, Google’s Chrome is currently not compatible). Because the file saved is based on your browser, it will work for all operating systems. You can even move the file between computers, as long as the operating system and browser is the same. If you move the file to a computer with the same browser but a different operating system it should in theory work, but your mileage may vary. To update the file with current information open the file on your computer in your browser and select RETURN TO SAVINGS BOND CALCULATOR to display the values as of the current month and year (you must have an active Internet connection). You can then save the file again to have the updated information on your computer.

On August 27th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Vince – I misspoke I said there’s no obvious way to save your bond data with the Savings Bond Calculator. The button is obvious. The method is very cool if you get it. But most people don’t get it because no other big web site does it that way.

Tom Adams

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 Savings-Bond-Advisor.com. 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



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