Investing in U.S. Treasuries and the Treasury Direct Program
by Annette Thau
U.S. Treasuries are debt instruments that are direct obligations of the U.S. government. They are issued periodically by the Treasury and sold through auctions run by the Federal Reserve. Individual investors can buy Treasuries directly at these auctions, along with large institutional investors. The minimum amount for direct purchase is $1,000; additional increments must be in multiples of $1,000.
Currently, Treasuries are issued with maturities ranging from three months to 10 years. Treasuries maturing in one year or less are known as Treasury bills (or T-bills). Those maturing in two to 10 years are called Treasury notes. Any Treasury with a maturity longer than 10 years is called a Treasury bond. Lets look at each in turn.
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