What are the disadvantages of treasury bills? Cons of investing in treasury bills

Many people like to invest in gold or treasury bills because they are generally safe compared to other investments. In fact, even back during a recession, T-bills were still supported by the most stable taxpayer base in the world. However, the disadvantages of treasury bills can be obvious to some. Let’s separate them in the following lines.

Narrowing down investment options should include a thorough evaluation of each potential investment. Investors of all classes, from individuals to giant mutual funds, put their money into securities issued by the US Treasury Department. Treasury bills offer some advantages, including security and guaranteed returns. However, at the same time, you are likely to get better returns from other investments.

Definition of treasury bills

Treasury bonds can be defined as short or medium term debt securities issued by a country with the aim of repaying a debt or supporting several activities. The issuance of treasury bills is generally managed by France Tresor Agency in France.

Treasury bonds make for a safe investment but like any other instrument, it has some drawbacks. For investors looking for a quick return, this falls well short of this expectation.

What are the disadvantages of treasury bills?

Here are some of the disadvantages of treasury bills:

Inflation risks

risks inflation It is what happens when the value of your investment decreases due to an increase in the rate of inflation. Although this risk is real for all tools investment Practically, however, it is a much larger reality for treasury instruments since they are generally lower in price.

For example, if your Treasury bond has an interest rate of 2.84% and inflation reaches 3.5% or only rises 1%, your investment is losing. Technically, the real value, or purchasing power, of your investment and earnings has decreased.

There’s no doubt though that when due date comes, you’ll get the principal back. However, its value will be much lower in monetary terms.

Of course, there is a way to reduce this problem and that is through treasury inflation protected securities that adjust to the current rate of inflation. Or you can invest in mutual funds that also invest heavily in protected securities.

low yield

Yes this is also a disadvantage of treasury bills, they give you peace of mind but don’t expect it to be like winning the lottery. The rates of returns are different for each type of instrument but they are basically the same when it comes to the overall returns.

Even if you hold them until the due date to withdraw the money, the returns are usually low. Other investments that carry more risk than Treasuries offer greater returns – that’s just the way things work in the world of financial investment.

Therefore, if you are adventurous when it comes to your money or are very keen on getting higher returns on your investments, then treasury bonds will fall at the bottom of your priority list, and you will probably want to consider corporate bonds instead. And if you’re in a hurry to cash out, Treasury bonds will take you at least 10 years before you can get them back.

interest rate risk

Treasury bonds are not immune to interest rate risk – fluctuations in interest rates affect them. Moreover, the degree of volatility increases as the instrument approaches its maturity. When interest rates go up, rates usually go down.

Call risk

Some Treasury notes contain call provisions that allow the government to retire before the originally specified maturity date. The government does this in times when prices are falling.

Credit or default risk

All investors need to know that all bonds have a risk of default (in which the issuer cannot pay interest or principal on time). The US government is still the most powerful government in the world, but there have been times when it has been shut down for days.

If you are a serious investor, you should monitor current financial and political events and pay attention to issues of national debt, gross national product, treasury yields, falling US dollar and other signs that may indicate that the risk of default is imminent.

restrictions and penalties

If you redeem a Treasury note before its maturity date, you may be subject to some penalties. At best, some restrictions may limit what you can or cannot do at certain times.

Despite all the disadvantages of these treasury bills, the advantages also tell us that investing in treasury bills is also safe.

Advantages of treasury bills

Any investment has its pros and cons and no one tool is absolutely perfect. The same applies to Treasury bonds. Therefore, you must understand its advantages (and disadvantages) before you can say that it is the right choice for achieving your financial goals.

Treasury bonds don’t burden investors with paying maintenance fees – that’s just one advantage. Here are more of them:

High credit quality

It is clear that no issuer of private debt instruments will beat the US government in the area of ​​creditworthiness. Needless to say, Treasuries have the highest credit quality among the instruments in the US market if not the world.

Just imagine the tax power of the most powerful government in the world and the size of the US economy that secures these tools. But note that in August 2011, it downgraded Standard & Poor Long-term sovereign credit rating of the United States of America to AA + from AAA.

This was amid concerns about the US budget deficit and the direction of the US economy. Credit rating agencies have since upgraded this rating.

tax advantages

Here’s a really interesting thing for investors: You won’t have to pay state and local income taxes on interest income from Treasury securities. However, you still have to pay federal income taxes as you do from your income on the majority of investment options.

And you have to remember that when you sell or redeem your bond at maturity, some components may become taxable. Buying a bond at a market discount in the secondary market is different from buying a bond at an original issue discount (OID) from a tax standpoint.

For example, if you buy the bond at a discount (the purchase price is less than face value) and hold it until maturity or sell it at a profit, that gain will be taxable. You have to pay federal and state capital gains taxes on it. However, if you buy it on OID and hold it to maturity or sell it at a profit, your winnings will fall into a different type of income.


If you were to delve deeper into the volume of Treasury securities that investors buy and sell during each trading day, you would probably be blown away by the amount involved. Not only are retail investors provoked, but so are major financial institutions, corporate investors, and even foreign governments in many cases. You don’t have to be a financial wizard to conclude that liquidity is probably the last thing to worry about.

If you want to buy Treasury securities like bonds, there are two places you can go. The most common is through the secondary market which has the advantage of being the most actively traded market. Or you can participate in their regularly scheduled auctions; Just check the auction schedule.

In the secondary market, you can find postings of treasury bills, securities and bonds with active bids and offers. Another important thing to remember is that in this arena, you will find that the spreads (the difference between bids and offers) are the narrowest in the bond market. Watch out for the few times US Treasury bonds reach their highest levels of volatility.

For example, when the government releases important economic data to the public, it usually affects treasury bills.

Many options

As we said, Treasury bills come with different maturities – from 2 to 30 years. Here’s the thing about stocks: Longer maturities will always provide higher coupons.

Another thing to note is that Treasury notes come in different structures. There are Treasury bonds with coupons, zero coupons, and protected securities, in which principal and yields move up and down to reflect changes in the consumer price index.

So, as an investor, you will not find yourself locked into a fund, but rather someone who can dig into a fund to find the best product for your needs.

Your friend until retirement

If the purpose of the investment is to build a retirement nest, Treasury bonds are great. It is obviously much safer than stocks so it takes away some of the tensions and fears for the future.

Not only that, the interest payments you’ll receive can help you create an alternative source of income in retirement.

Treasury bills restrictions

Treasury securities, like government-backed debt securities, generate lower returns than other investment options in the stock market. Treasury bonds are non-coupon bonds, which means they pay no interest to investors. It is given at a discount and then redeemed for its face value. As a result, regardless of a country’s economic situation, investors in Treasury bills enjoy steady returns over the life of the bond.

The returns offered by stocks, equity funds, debt funds and debt instruments are affected by volatility Stock market. If the result is, as the stock market rises, so does the yield generated by stocks, equity funds, debt funds and debt instruments.

Who should consider treasury bills as an investment?

The government issues treasury bonds, which are great for investors looking for a safe investment with a good return. Investors may submit non-competitive offers. Treasury bills have an auction process that allows investors to participate by placing a bid. Details on discount value and face value are announced ahead of time. Investment procedures can be completely transparent to investors. It also helps in producing wealth for individuals.

It is suitable for all investors, regardless of their level of experience or risk tolerance. It can also serve as a safe investment for those looking to diversify their investment portfolios. This can reduce the overall risk of portfolio allocation.

Treasury bills are available to corporations, corporations, banks, trusts, insurance companies, provident funds, state governments, and financial institutions. Treasury bonds are the safest fixed income investment in its class because of the low chance of default. The yield is also predetermined because the issue date, maturity dates, and amount are all predetermined. They play an important role in controlling the total money supply of an economy.

common questions

What are the terms of maturity of treasury bills?

Treasury bonds are short-term government bonds and are issued with five terms. These consist of four, eight, 13, 26 and 52 weeks

What are the disadvantages of treasury bills?

The risk of investing in treasury bonds is an opportunity risk. This means that the investor may have gotten a better return elsewhere, only time will tell. Risks lie in three areas: inflation, interest rate risk, and opportunity costs.

Are treasury bills riskier than bonds?

The return on investment is low in treasury bond instruments due to the shorter maturity period, and the return on investment is higher in treasury bonds due to the longer maturity period. The risk associated with treasury bills is lower compared to treasury bonds due to the shorter maturity period.

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