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Author: dmlm70 One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35392  
Subject: Re: Low Risk Short-Term Investments Date: 3/19/2006 5:13 PM
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whyohwhyoh,

Thanks for pointing that out. They actually include t-bills under their heading of US Treasury Securities, however they are very vague in presenting any specifics. Investopedia gives a good description of T-Bills:

"Treasury Bill - T-Bill
A short-term debt obligation backed by the U.S. government with a maturity of less than one year. T-bills are sold in denominations of $1,000 up to a maximum purchase of $5 million and commonly have maturities of one month (four weeks), three months (13 weeks) or six months (26 weeks).

T-bills are issued through a competitive bidding process at a discount from par, which means that rather than paying fixed interest payments like conventional bonds, the appreciation of the bond provides the return to the holder.

For example, let's say you buy a 13-week T-bill priced at $9,800. Essentially, the U.S. government (and its nearly bulletproof credit rating) writes you an IOU for $10,000 that it agrees to pay back in three months. You will not receive regular payments as you would with a coupon bond, for example. Instead, the appreciation - and, therefore, the value to you - comes from the difference between the discounted value you originally paid and the amount you receive back ($10,000). In this case, the T-bill pays a 2.04% interest rate ($200/$9,800 = 2.04%) over a three-month period."


The current rate appears to be 4.471% for the 4 week bill and 4.625 for the 13 week bill.
They can be purchased through Treasury Direct or Legacy Treasury Direct and the following link will take you to a recent Treasury Bill Auction Results site:

http://wwws.publicdebt.treas.gov/AI/OFBills

Thanks for your good observation, whyohwhyoh. If you can add anything to this description please do because this was an area that was not covered well in the bestcashcow comparison. It might also be helpful if you could go through the process on how to buy and redeem T-Bills. If someone has never done it before, they might feel somewhat intimidated on how to get started. This is an important area that all fixed rate investors should understand and be aware of the mechanics of how to invest in T-Bills.

DM


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