I was going to put together another spreadsheet to help you calculate a bond and its various attributes, but I found a tool online that is better than I can do for you. The issue with a spreadsheet is that it does not have access to current bond rates, and therefore cannot be accurate unless you track current bond rates (Yuck!). So I will just do a quick overview of the tool, and then provide you with a link.
- In the “Value as of:” box, enter the month and year (MM/YYYY) that you want to calculate.
- Choose the bond series from the dropdown box.
- You may enter the bond serial number, but it is optional.
- In the “Issue Date:” box, enter the month and year (MM/YYYY) that you want to calculate.
- Click the Calculate button.
A few hints about key fields and there meanings (taken from treasuredirect.gov):
- Issue Price–The money you paid to buy each bond in this inventory.
- Interest–The amount of interest each bond has accumulated from its Issue Date through the ‘Value as of’ date.
Note: If a bond was issued May 1997 or later and it’s cashed before it’s five years old, it’s subject to a 3-month interest penalty. The interest shown here incorporates this penalty.
- Value–What each bond is worth as of the date given in the ‘Value as of’ field.
- Interest Rate–The interest rate each bond is earning in the date listed in the ‘Value as of’ field. We use this rate to calculate the interest that accumulates on the Next Accrual Date.
- Next Accrual Date–The first date after the date specified in the ‘Value as of’ box that each bond increases in value.
- Final Maturity Date–The date each bond stops earning interest.
I find the tool quite good, as it incorporates current interest rates, with past interest rates in its database to make it easier on the user. One key point I want to make is, if current interest rates are higher than rates were when you purchased your bond, then the value of the bond today will be less, as buyers will be more attracted to higher rates, vs the rate of your bond. Likewise, if todays rates are lower than rates were when you purchased your bond, your bond will be worth more. If you have any questions, please leave them below. Here is the link: