On the financial market since 1924, postal savings bonds (BFPs) have always been considered one of the cornerstones of Italian savings, thanks to the rather attractive returns enjoyed by investors in the 1980s and 1990s and the relatively low risk they entail.
Almost a hundred years after their establishment, however, postal savings bonds are just one of the many investment possibilities available: this is why, to invest your savings in a safe way, it is good to know in detail how the postal savings certificates work – of which let’s talk in this article – and carefully weigh the pros and cons.
Without forgetting that today in the financial markets it is possible to operate strategically, increasing the prospects of returns and controlling the risk in a professional way: to find the solution that best suits your needs, discovers the proposal without obligation by completing the online path.
What are postal savings bonds?
Postal savings bonds are financial investment products placed exclusively by and issued. Since they are guaranteed by the Italian State they are considered quite reliable, and their price is not subject to market fluctuations, a characteristic that makes them not very profitable but attractive to less experienced savers who prefer the certainty of lower and low-risk returns.
Although far from the glories of a few decades ago, there are still different types of interest-bearing bonds designed to meet the needs of a very wide user: in addition to the more classic titles – such as the ordinary voucher, the 4 × 3 and the 4 × 4, which guarantee a secure return for those who invest in the long term – the range of proposals also includes formulas designed ad hoc for specific targets of savers.
How do postal savings bonds work?
Postal savings bonds are a form of investment that we can define as “basic” and, precisely because it is a sort of entry-level for inexperienced or risk-averse savers, they work quite immediately: you pay a sum of money – in general, the minimum threshold is 50 euros – which, over time, accrues interests that vary according to the type of voucher subscribed and its duration.
Beyond the specificities of the individual products, however, all interest-bearing bonds work in the same way and have common characteristics:
- they are guaranteed by the Italian State;
- there are no subscription and redemption costs (net of tax charges, which must always be paid);
- provide for the possibility of requesting the repayment of the capital invested at any time, plus the interest accrued over time;
- they are subject to subsidized taxation, which amounts to 12.50% on interest (a much lower percentage than that which concerns, for example, current accounts or bonds);
- they are exempt from inheritance tax.
How long do interest-bearing bonds last?
If you are looking for an investment that makes you interesting sums in the short term, postal savings bonds will probably not be your first choice: these securities, in fact, are mainly designed for medium and long-term investments, with durations that on average are around per decade.
Of course, with postal savings bonds, it is always possible to request the reimbursement of the invested capital ahead of time: however, although the idea of being able to access those sums and use them for other purposes in case of need is tempting, it would be preferable to avoid because, by doing so, a good part of the (already low) returns offered by the securities would be renounced.
DISCOVER THE INVESTMENT PROPOSAL BUILT FOR YOU
1. Create your profile
2. Discover your portfolio
3. Start investing
If you have more articulated needs or prefer to put your savings to good use in the short term, it is therefore worth evaluating other forms of investment, also relying on the Money farm experts who will guide you and manage your capital with tailor-made investments.
How do they subscribe?
On the Poste Italian website it is possible to carry out a simulation to find out the value of the selected voucher, and possibly proceed with the purchase.
To subscribe to a postal interest-bearing voucher, you can choose between the traditional paper form or the virtual one – the so-called “dematerialized” form – directly online or by going to the post office.
For those who do not already have an account or a postal booklet, it is sufficient to present an identity document, the tax code, and the IBAN code of their bank account.
How much do postal savings bonds yield?
We have seen some of the main features of postal savings bonds, but we cannot overlook the most relevant aspect, namely the yield: in the days of our grandparents these were solutions capable of even doubling the value of the investment at maturity, today the percentages are decidedly reduced and, at the same risk, they yield less than BTPs (which, however, remain exposed to market fluctuations).
It is sufficient to browse the summary sheets to realize that postal savings bonds, while offering various advantages, yield relatively little, whether it is products with variable, fixed, or increasing fixed returns.
In principle, in fact, we start from a standard gross annual return at maturity of 0.25% for 4-year vouchers and then reach a maximum of 2.50% for the voucher dedicated to minors: unless you intend to invest considerable sums, therefore, the final gain is likely to be negligible.