The U.S. going hard in their marketing last century!!! Haha…
That line came from a bunch of old savings bonds ads I came across over the weekend while poring over old phone books (I’m a fun date on a Saturday night, let me tell you!), and thought it was pretty coincidental since I was literally about to blog about savings bond *stamps* based on a booklet I also stumbled across the other day (pictured above).
I didn’t know too much about them until now, but apparently they were issued by the Treasury Department during World War I and World War II and were primarily aimed at “common citizens” to help raise money for the war efforts.
The booklet I picked up came about during WWII and were specific to 50 cent stamps which offered the following proposal:
“When you fill this album with 50¢ stamps, it will have a total value of $37.50 and it will buy a Defense Savings Bond worth, in 10 years, $50. Your postmaster will give you, or you may secure from the Treasury Department at Washington, details of the Regular Purchase Plan, which has been adopted by many thousands of investors who are buying Savings Bonds each month at other intervals of their choice.”
These bond denominations also came in $25, $100, $500, and even $1,000 amounts (!!!), and essentially gave you a 2.9% interest rate (compounded semiannually) giving you 33 and 1/3% more in savings by the end of the 10 years.
And they weren’t shy about promoting these stamps and bonds either ;)
Here were other snippets found throughout it:
- “Under this plan you can buy as often as you please and, without penalty, stop buying at any time”
- “You will be surprised and much pleased to find how quickly you may through frequent purchase of Defense Savings Stamps accumulate funds for the regular purchase of Savings Bonds, and how many of these bonds you may own through these convenient partial payments.”
- “[This] offers a quick and easy way for every loyal man, woman, and child in this country not only to put aside funds for future personal needs, but at the same time to give valuable help toward national defense.”
- And the big up sell –> “If you buy a $50 (maturity value) bond each month for 10 years, and hold all your bonds, you will then own $6,000 (maturity value) of Defense Savings Bonds.”
Haha… True fact! And honestly, it would be enough to convince me to do my part too w/ the efforts :) Help our country AND bank healthy savings every month? Sign me up!! Especially when there are barriers in place for me *not to touch it* over the years. One of the biggest reasons I love retirement accounts so much – you’re not tempted to dip back in during bouts of temptation!
And apparently these War Bonds efforts paid off big time. During WWII alone a total of $185.7 billion was raised from over 85 million Americans, more than in any other country during the war. (The stamps were only a part of the efforts, with the biggest results actually coming from *payroll deduction* plans – which shouldn’t be that surprising considering how popular it is today in saving/investing!)
Here are some pics of the booklet for your viewing pleasure:
And then here’s what the 50 cent stamps looked like that would be affixed to the inner pages:
50¢ “Minuteman” stamps
Lastly, some of those ads I came across in the telephone directories (not relating to the *war* efforts, but still fun to see them marketing bonds well into the 70s and 80s!):
So that’s your history lesson for the day :)
Anyone old enough to remember these, or even purchase any?? If they were around TODAY, would the maturity value + patriotic slant be enough to convince you to pick up any?
A guaranteed return like that ain’t too shabby, though you don’t hear too many people these days raving about savings bonds, haha… We’ve all lost our patient pants!
On a somewhat related note, I once found a bunch of old savings bonds in my safe when cleaning up years ago and decided to see how much they were worth decades later… You can read the story here, as well as what I ended up doing with them if curious:)