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US Treasury Bonds

Category — Sovereign Bonds
By Konstantin Vasilev Member of the Board of Directors of Cbonds, Ph.D. in Economics
Updated April 18, 2023

What is a Treasury Bond (T-Bond)?

A Treasury Bond, also known as a "T-Bond," is a long-term debt security issued by the United States government. These bonds are considered to be some of the safest investments available since they are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government. Treasury Bonds are not the same as US savings bonds.

When the government wants to borrow money, it issues bonds of various maturities, which are sold to investors. The maturity of a T-Bond is typically 10 or 30 years, which means that bondholders will receive their principal investment back at the end of that term, along with interest payments made semi-annually.

T-Bonds are exempt from state and local taxes, which can make it an attractive investment for investors seeking a steady, low-risk return. Additionally, T-Bonds are highly liquid, which means that it can be easily bought and sold on the open market.

Interest rates of T-Bonds are determined through an auction process, in which investors bid on bonds. The prevailing interest rate at the time of the auction is then set as the "coupon rate" for the bond, which determines the amount of interest paid to the bondholder.

Beyond their use as a low-risk investment vehicle for individual investors, T-Bonds also play an important role in many institutional and governmental investment strategies. For example, many pension funds and other long-term investment vehicles hold T-Bonds as a way to hedge against inflation and provide a steady, reliable income stream over time.

US Treasury Bonds

How do Treasury Bonds (T-Bonds) work

Treasury Bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government, meaning that the government has promised to pay the bondholder the full amount of their investment at maturity.

T-Bonds have a maturity period of 10 years or more and can have a fixed rate, variable or inflation-indexed. This means that the bond will either pay a set rate of interest for the entire term of the bond, have an interest rate that fluctuates over time, or will have an interest rate that is tied to changes in the rate of inflation.

Investors can purchase T-Bonds directly from the US government through the Treasury Direct program, or they can purchase T-Bonds from brokers or financial institutions in the secondary market. The return on investment for T-Bonds is determined by the bond’s interest rate and the price at which the bond was purchased.

When investors buy buys a T-Bond, they are effectively lending money to the US government. The government then uses the money to fund programs and services, such as infrastructure projects, public education, and defense initiatives. The government is obligated to repay investors the full amount of their investment when the bond reaches maturity.

Investors may also choose to sell their T-Bonds prior to maturity in the secondary market, where they may receive either a capital gain or a capital loss depending on the prevailing interest rates and market conditions.

Overall, Treasury government bonds are considered to be very safe investments due to their backing by the US government. While they may not offer the same high returns as some other investments, they provide a low-risk option for investors who are looking for a steady, reliable source of income over the long term.

Reasons to consider Treasury Bonds

Treasury Bonds are issued by the US government to finance its operations and pay off its debt. They are a popular investment choice for many investors because they are considered to be very safe and reliable. Below are some reasons to consider investing in Treasury Bonds:

  1. Low risk. Treasury Bonds are considered to be very safe and low risk because they are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government. This means that investors are highly unlikely to lose their principal investment.

  2. Stable returns. Treasury Bonds offer a stable source of income to investors. They pay interest periodically, and the return is fixed at the time of purchase. This means that investors can forecast their earnings over a specified time period.

  3. Diversification. Treasury Bonds can act as a diversification tool for an investor’s portfolio. They provide a counterbalance to other investments that may be riskier or more volatile. By adding Treasury Bonds to an investment mix, an investor can manage risk while still achieving their investment goals.

  4. Liquidity. Treasury Bonds are highly liquid, which means that investors can buy and sell them easily on the secondary market. This makes them a very accessible investment choice for individuals hoping to invest in fixed-income securities.

  5. Tax benefits. Interested investors can buy Treasury Bonds free of state and local taxes. Additionally, some Treasury Bonds are exempt from federal income taxes, making them a tax-efficient choice.

How to buy Treasury Bonds

Treasury Bonds are a type of long-term debt issued by the federal government of the United States. Investing in Treasury Bonds can be a great way to save for retirement or to earn a steady stream of income. Here are some steps to follow if you are interested in buying Treasury Bonds in the US:

  1. Set up a TreasuryDirect account. To buy Treasury Bonds directly from the government, you will need to open a TreasuryDirect account. This is an online account that will allow you to purchase, manage, and redeem your Treasury Bonds.

  2. Decide which type of bond to buy. There are several types of Treasury Bonds available, including T-bills (bonds with a maturity of one year or less, for example: USA, Bills 0% 12sep2023, USD), T-notes (bonds with a maturity of 2-10 years, for example: USA, Notes 0.625% 31jul2026, USD), and T-notes (bonds with a maturity of over 10 years, for example: USA, Bonds 2.75% 15aug2042, USD), and T-bonds (bonds with a maturity of over 10 years). You will need to decide which type of bond best suits your investment needs.

  3. Determine the purchase amount. Treasury Bonds have a minimum purchase amount of $100, but you can buy them in increments of $100 thereafter.

  4. Place your purchase order. Once you have decided on the type of bond and the purchase amount, you can place your order through your TreasuryDirect account. You will need to provide your bank account information to fund your purchase.

  5. Wait for confirmation. After you place your purchase order, you will receive confirmation of your transaction. You can then monitor your account to track the progress of your purchase.

  6. Collect the interest payments. Treasury Bonds pay interest every six months, which will be deposited directly into your TreasuryDirect account. You can also choose to reinvest your interest payments into additional Treasury Bonds.

Overall, investing in Treasury Bonds can be a great way to save for the future and to earn a steady stream of income. By following these steps, you can easily purchase Treasury Bonds directly from the US government.


  • Are Treasury Bonds a good investment?

  • What are Treasury Bonds paying now?

  • How do I buy Treasury Bonds directly?

  • Can I buy Treasury Bonds on my own?

  • What is the difference between Treasury Bonds and TIPS?

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