I found a Premium Bond from 1965

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While searching for a long lost ‘something’ in the loft you often come across something of personal, historical interest. It’s less often that this something potentially holds the key to launching you to millionaire status.

This is still not one of those moments…probably.

After sifting through the school participation trophies, spare cutlery sets and the old school road play-mat that I sunk hours into at a time as a kid, we came across a nice little piece of British, savings history:

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A series of Premium Bonds dated form 1965 – 1969, complete with original date stamp and in their original, paper form.

These were originally purchased for one of my parents: one for each of the first 5 years of their life and cost just £1 a bond. I say ‘just’ but that £1 is the equivalent to over £16 in 2019.

When they were first introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Harold Macmillan, in 1956, the top prize was £1,000. Originally introduced to combat inflation and encourage saving in the post war era, Premium Bonds quickly became a mainstay of many people’s finances. In the first day alone, £5million worth of Premium Bonds were purchased (equivalent of over £25million today), with the first being purchased by the then Lord Mayor of London, Cuthbert Ackroyd.

Despite how long we have held these 5 £1 bonds, I highly doubt we are sitting on an amount of any significance…we can but hope.

One gripe I have with Premium Bonds is that their website deems them an ‘investment’. Unlike many in the personal finance blogsphere, I don’t mind the idea of holding them –  considering the currently woeful savings interest rates available at the high street banks – but to call them an investment is something I can’t really get behind.

I see them as a fun hedge (safety net) against money you have invested in the markets or in property or other assets. They’re a safe way of storing cash with the added chance of a financial prize if you’re really lucky.

They’re not an appreciating asset like a stock or bricks and mortar; they’re essentially a gamble without the downside of losing money (although you could argue the loss is inflation over time).

I know, they’ll erode slowly with inflation, but so will most of your cash holdings considering how poor savings rates are…and no, I’m not going to bother with high interest current accounts.

How can I claim old bonds?

All you need to do is call 0845 964 5000 or fill a form out online. NS&I will then take your details, set you up with an account (if you don’t have one already) and then determine the value of your old bonds using the number attached to that specific bond.

If you think you own some bonds, but aren’t too sure and don’t know the bond number or when they were purchased, you can still find out if you’re one of the lucky ones by using NS&I’s tracing service. All details about this can be found here.

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The chances are nothing will come of these, but I just thought these were a fun piece of British, savings history. Especially when bonds are now purchased online and you no longer receive the physical bond with your purchase.

I’ll update once I know the result. In the meantime, I’ll continue to dream what I’d do with £1million.

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “I found a Premium Bond from 1965

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