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Purchasing Savings Bonds Online

U.S. Savings Bonds are going high-tech&#151with online purchasing.

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This story appears in the November 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Generations of grandparents have given U.S. Savings Bonds as gifts on birthdays and graduations, and generations of workers have dutifully bought them through regular payroll deductions. More than $195 billion of the bonds are stuffed into sock drawers and safe deposit boxes across the country, as much a part of Americana as baseball and apple pie. They're patriotism in paper and ink, an icon as much as an investment vehicle.

But the paper-and-ink part of the equation is about to disappear. The Treasury Department plans to kick off an "awareness campaign" this fall to let investors know it won't be issuing paper bonds much longer. Once 65 percent of current bond buyers are aware of the impending change, the feds say they'll announce a timeline for phasing out the old and bringing in the new. The new, in this case, will mean that everyone who wants a Savings Bond will have to open a TreasuryDirect Internet account. No more tromping down to the neighborhood bank.

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