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Posted by Jim McClaflin, EA, NTPI Fellow, CTRC

Which Treasury Bonds Are The Best?

Which Treasury Bonds Are The Best?


Treasury bonds are known to be safe and harmless investments. It is a debt security that the United States Treasury issues. The bonds issued to investors are used to foot the country's operating costs. Treasury bonds have the government’s backing because they are assured by the credit of the United States government. 

Treasury bonds are common among risk-averse investors and retirees. They offer a superior diversification advantage and security. Various securities that fall into this category include bonds, bills, notes, and many more. 

It is essential to watch out for a treasury bond that stores your money safely. Therefore, you should be informed on the types of treasury bonds, how they operate, their advantages and disadvantages.

 

How Treasury Bonds Work

Purchasing a Treasury security means you are lending money to the U.S government. The various available maturities permit you to pick the type of security that matches your investing goals. After purchasing treasury security, you are meant to hold it for a minimum of 45 days. It can be redeemed afterward. 

Investors take the maximum return by awaiting the maturity date. Either periodically or when redeemed, investors earn their interest. The interest earned is placed under the federal income taxes.

 

Below are the types of treasury bonds: 

  1. Treasury Bills 

T-Bills have a maturity date between four to fifty-two weeks. It is sold at a cost below its value, but you will receive its total value when it is matured.

  1. Treasury notes 

In comparison to treasury bills, treasury notes have long maturity dates. They mature between two to ten years. Interest is paid every six months, and they are also sold at a discount. The price can be more than or equal to its face value.

  1. Treasury bonds 

Bonds mature between 20 to 30 years. It is sold at a discount, and interests are given every six months.

  1. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) 

TIPS has a maturity date between five to thirty years. It protects your investment and makes it unaffected by inflation. You are either given the original or adjusted principal at maturity, depending on which is more significant. 

  1. Floating-rate notes (FRNs) 

The increase or decrease of FRN’s interest is dependent on the discount rates of thirteen-week treasury bills. FRNs are sold at a coupon, discount, or premium. The plummeting interest rate makes it an unstable choice.

  1. Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities (STRIPS) 

STRIPS can only be accessed through a private financial organization. The organization separates the coupons and principal of a treasury TIPS, note or bond. It is sold in pieces to investors at a high discount price. Investors can now redeem at maturity. 

TIP: The interest rate of FRN and TIPS varies. They increase with the interest rates.


Merits of Treasury Bonds

  1. High Credit quality

Treasury securities are government-backed; therefore, they have the highest credit quality. 

  1. Tax advantages 

The interest you generate from the treasury bond is subject to only federal income tax and not local or state. 

  1. Liquidity 

Treasury securities can be sold at scheduled auctions. The price is dependent on their coupon rate. 

  1. Choice

Treasury securities can be purchased in different structures. 


Cons

  1. Lower yield 

You will earn less interest. 

  1. Tax considerations 

The principal gain from your sales is subject to state and federal taxes. 

  1. Inflation risk

Interest might not keep up with inflation costs. 

 

Conclusion

Treasury bonds are low-risk investments with maturity dates and interest. It can be sold at any time for cash as far as the market is open. They are referred to as bonds because of their long-term. Note and bill refer to bonds with short timelines.


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Jim McClaflin, EA, NTPI Fellow, CTRC
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