How To Buy Treasury Bills
If you wish to preserve your wealth, you may be interested in how to buy Treasury bills. Treasury bills, or T-bills, are short-term debt backed by the full credit of the United States government, so they are generally considered one of the safest investments possible. T-bills are sold in denominations of $1,000 and may mature after one, three, or six months.
To buy Treasury bills, you will need:
- At least $1000
- A bank account, brokerage account or TreasuryDirect account
- You can buy Treasury bills at most banks. Inquire at your local bank branch the next time you visit, and they'll explain their process to you.
- Check with your broker. If you have an investment account with a brokerage, you can also typically buy Treasury bills through them.
- The U.S. Treasury sells directly to the public. You'll need to go to the TreasuryDirect website and sign up for an account. You will be required to provide some financial information and answer a number of questions to buy Treasury bills direct from the Treasury. They require your Social Security number, a bank account number and routing information, as well as a driver's license number.
- Treasury bills are issued at a discount from par, which means you won't receive interest payments. Appreciation of the T-bill provides your return.
- The process to buy Treasury bills relies on bidding. A competitive bid means that you specify an acceptable discount rate, but you may or may not receive any securities. A noncompetitive bid obliges you to accept whatever rate is determined at auction, but you are guaranteed to receive the securities you bid for in the denominations you want.