Layin’ It on the Line: US Treasuries are the safest possible place to invest your money
“Everyone at some time in their life will run to safety.” — Lyle Boss
Treasury bonds are issued and backed by the federal government, the full faith and credit of the United States government. The advantage is safety; the disadvantage is the yield you may earn can be lower than other investment options. The question to ask is simple, is the lesser yield still sufficient for your needs?
U.S. Treasuries are issued in four different categories: bills, notes, TIPS, and bonds.
Treasury bills (T-bills) have a maturity date of one year or less, and they are short-term by nature. Four options exist for a time duration of investment, four weeks, 13 weeks, 26 weeks and 52 weeks maturity. Treasury bills do not pay interest. Instead, they are sold at a discount and in denominations of $100. For example, a $1,000 T-bill with a maturity of 52 weeks might sell for $975. At the end of maturity (52 weeks), the owner of the T-bill would receive $1,000.
A Treasury note (T-note) has a more extended maturity time period than T-bills: one year to 10 years. Notes are issued in denominations of $1,000 with interest paid every six months. T-notes are issued with the full face value of the note and not as a discounted face value.
Treasury bonds (T-bonds) are issued for a more extended period than T-notes: 10 years to 30 years to maturity. Bonds are issued at face value, and interest is paid every six months. The most popular time period is 30 years.
Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are U.S. Treasuries issued with an added benefit; they are designed to help offset inflation. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities are issued with five-, 10- and 30-year maturity dates. Interest is paid every six months and is a set rate, but additional interest can be paid at maturity based on inflation history.
Regardless of which U.S. Treasury you choose, the safety of the principal is always the underlying benefit.
Lyle Boss is a member of Syndicated Columnists, a national organization committed to a fully transparent approach to money management. Boss Financial, 955 Chambers St., Suite 250, Ogden, UT 84403. Telephone: 801-475-9400.