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No. of Recommendations: 6
I've purchased Treasury Bills and I-Series Savings Bonds via TreasuryDirect.gov (TD) in recent years. To me, the system is not as user-friendly and not as straightforward as most of the discount brokers that invest a good deal in technology (Fidelity, Schwab, etc) but after a few purchases you will get a pretty good hang of it. The site design has been unchanged for 10 years if not more. :) I've never heard of any security breaches but have read some online bloggers noting TD's security as a potential concern. (I do not know how secure the Web site is really - not something I can comment on as I'm no technical expert in that area.)

When you buy T-Bills, funds get pulled from your bank account based on the results of the auction, a day or two after its completion. Then the face value gets deposited once the bill matures. So after the initial purchase there is nothing for the buyer to do. No way to sell early via TD web site either but I knew that upfront and that did not bother me.

The process to buy I-Bonds is similar to T-Bills but I've never waited until maturity so not sure about the redemption process at that point. I've redeemed one or two bonds early. The first 12 months are a no-go as AJ mentioned earlier. Funds are not available for withdrawal. Then redemption is possible -- have to go to TD's site and go through the process there -- but with a three-month interest penalty starting the 13th month. After year five the penalty is removed. Feel free to check TD's Web site as I might have gotten some that wrong. :)

A few other things/tricks to keep in mind:
- If you buy on Oct 1 or Oct 19 ... the interest you earn will be the same as the bond will be dated Oct 1
- Some people wait until late in the month to make the deposit although what's the alternative now, a 0.05% high-yield savings account? :)
- If you try to buy on the LAST day of the month... chances are very good that the bond will be dated next month so keep that in mind if timing is important
- the TD site will not clearly and easily specify your penalty if you choose to redeem early; I believe value of a specific bond should have that factored in when you go through the early redemption screens on TD's site
- if you choose to redeem the I-bond early, the process will be pretty simple and the funds will land in your linked bank account within a couple of business days of you hitting the submit button
- one neat feature of TD is that Bills, Notes, Savings Bonds, etc can be purchased in small dollar amounts ($25 or $50 minimum?) which is helpful for some people that are just starting out in their savings/investing journey and need a low "MOQ"

Hope this helps!
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