HomeBlogInvestmentFintech app Yotta rolls out feature that helps investors buy Treasury I bonds 

Fintech app Yotta rolls out feature that helps investors buy Treasury I bonds 

In a year of volatile markets, the humble I bond has emerged as an unlikely star. Now, there’s a new way to buy them.

Fintech app Yotta recently rolled out a feature called the I-Bonds Bucket, which allows users to invest in the securities while bypassing the notoriously outdated and glitchy TreasuryDirect.gov website.

Demand for U.S. Series I savings bonds has surged in 2022, with their stable and low-risk returns offering a rare bright spot as the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes rattle markets. Yotta — which was co-founded in 2019 by Adam Moelis, son of billionaire investment banker Ken Moelis — primarily offers bank accounts, with prize incentives for users to save money.

But in a bid to draw new customers, the fintech firm is trying to tap into the popularity of I bonds with an automated buying process. The basic pitch? Let us do the work of dealing with TreasuryDirect.gov.

“One of the issues people have with I bonds is how much of a pain the Treasury website is,” Moelis said.

Yotta is not charging a fee on the I bond product, instead using it as a tool to boost its number of users, Moelis said. So far, they’re just targeting people who have not previously purchased the bonds. The company, which has not yet turned a profit, is backed by Y Combinator, Core Innovation Capital, Ken Moelis and Cliff Asness. Since the product launched last week, Moelis said that there’s been more than $3 million in deposits.

The TreasuryDirect website recalls early internet pages, like an AltaVista search. Long waiting times and glitches are common. But for many, it’s been worth the hassle. Right now, I bonds offer an annual interest rate of 9.62%, and those who purchase through the end of October will lock in that rate for the subsequent six months. The U.S. Treasury Department sets this variable rate, which rises, and falls based on the consumer price index, on the first business day of May and November.

Individuals can only buy a maximum of $10,000 in I bonds each calendar year, and they must be held for at least one year. If you withdraw the cash before the end of five years, you forgo the last three months of interest.

‘IN the Nasdaq’ with Jack Janasiewicz, lead portfolio strategist at Natixis

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