Q&A: How to buy U.S. Treasuries

Dear Liz: Can I purchase a U.S. Treasury bill myself or do I need to go through a bank or a financial advisor?

Answer: You can buy government-issued securities — including Treasury bills, bonds and notes —from TreasuryDirect, which is operated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Setting up an account usually takes just a few minutes, but you’ll need a valid Social Security number, a U.S. address and a checking or savings account to complete the process.

You also can buy Treasuries in a brokerage account. You can purchase a Treasury bill on what’s known as the secondary market, where securities are bought and sold, or you can invest in a Treasury money market mutual fund or a Treasury exchange-traded fund.

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  1. Wally Roberts says

    Something to remember. If you have a revocable living trust the Treasury Direct account should be in the trust’s name. The staff at Treasury Direct will need to see the appropriate pages of your trust. I doubt this process is automated.