What you Need to Know
about Treasury Notes - How to Buy Sell these Securities
The United States Government offers several methods of investing.
Investors can buy Treasury Bills, Treasury Notes and Bonds. This
article will focus on Treasury Notes. These Notes earn a fixed rate of
interest every six months until maturity.
Treasury Notes are issued for 2, 3, 5 and 10 year terms. Notes can be
purchased from the U.S. government through their TreasuryDirect and
Legacy Treasury Direct programs. Treasury Notes can also be purchased
through banks and brokers.
Only individuals are allowed to hold TreasuryDirect accounts. Notes can
be held until maturity or can be sold before that point. You can buy
these through either the competitive or noncompetitive bidding process.
The bidding process is operated in two ways. You can place a
noncompetitive bid by agreeing to accept the yield determined at
auction. With this process you are guaranteed “to receive the note you
want, and in the full amount you want”, according to the US Treasury.
You may also consider purchasing Notes through the competitive process.
Here you specify the yield you are willing to accept. Your bid may or
may not be accepted if your yield is higher than that set at auction.
The Treasury may accept your bid in the full amount you want if your bid
is less than the yield determined at auction. Your bid may also be
accepted in less than the full amount you want if your bid is equal to
the high yield.
If you want to place a competitive bid you must use a bank, broker or
dealer. Non-competitive bids can be placed through TreasuryDirect,
Legacy Treasury Direct, a bank, broker or dealer. The yields will
always be determined at auction.
Treasury Notes are priced greater than, less than, or equal to the face
value of the note. They are always sold in increments of $1,000.
Auctions for 2 and 5 year Notes are held every month. For 3-year Notes
the auctions are held in February, May, August and November. For
10-year Notes, they are held in the same months with “reopeneings” held
in March, June, September and December. According to the Treasury
Department, additional amounts of a previously issued security are
sold. These reopened securities have the same maturity date and
interest rate as the original security, but the reopened security has a
different purchase price and issue date.
You can buy up to $5 million in Notes using the non-competitive bidding
process. Treasury Notes pay a fixed rate of interest every six months.
When the Note matures you are paid face value.
The price of a
fixed rate security depends on its yield to maturity (YTM) ratio and the
interest rate. If the YTM is greater than the interest rate, the price
will be less than par value; if the YTM is equal to the interest rate,
the price will be equal to par; if the YTM is less than the interest
rate, the price will be greater than par. For more information on this
subject you may wish to consult your financial planner or broker.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Investing
Keywords and misspelling: investmint investing intesters