There was a time when one had a choice of purchasing a United States Treasury Bills, (T-bills), or other government short-term securities from either a local bank, a brokerage firm and/or the Federal Reserve Bank. At a bank or brokerage firm, one could count on a transaction fee but today with the arrival of the Internet, there is a user-friendly manner in which to purchase this most popular and risk free of government backed loan obligations.
The Bureau of the Public Debt’s main assignment is to borrow money from the public by selling T-bills, bonds and savings bonds and other short-term securities for the operation of the U.S. government through it’s official website at TreasuryDirect. Using the Internet, the Bureau of the Public Debt combines both e-government and e-commerce to allow individual or corporate Internet investors to buy short-term U.S. government T-bills and other short-term securities using either a credit card or electronic bank transfer from individual bank accounts. The process is further made user-friendly by facilitating the withdrawals of funds or the direct depositing of funds into individual or corporate bank accounts.
Auction dates for T-bills are also posted at the website with other related material and information. The electronic secured system does require opening an Investor Account, but once setup, investors can access complete account management services, and get information on the Buyback Program plus continually updated data on auctions.
The pièce de résistance, was when it was announced that T-bills and other short-term securities could now be purchased with a minimum investment amount of $100.00 reduced from the former $1,000.00 required. The T-bill has never been more attractive or user-friendly to investors than now. T-bills can also be purchased online from Legacy Treasury Direct® also accessible through the TreasuryDirect.gov website.
Authored by Beverly Anne Sanchez, 2010.