If you are looking for a risk-free investment, Treasury securities (also called government bonds) are some of the safest investment options around.
Unlike many other investments, both long-term and short-term Treasury bonds are backed by the U.S. government. This makes them attractive for investors who want a safe investment when the stock market goes down or when interest rates on other investments are low.
There are a few main kinds of Treasury securities that are popular with investors:
- Treasury Bills: These U.S. short-term Treasury bonds mature in a year or less and pay interest only when they mature.
- Treasury Notes: These securities mature over 2 to 10 years and pay out interest twice a year.
- Treasury Bonds: Similar to Treasure notes, these securities pay out interest twice a year, but they take 20 or 30 years to mature.
- Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS): Also called U.S. inflation-protected bonds, these securities account for long-term inflation in order to protect investors.
When talking about bonds, “maturity” is the amount of time it will take for you to get your initial investment back, along with any remaining interest. When figuring out what the best U.S. Treasury bonds are for you, be sure to take the bond maturity date into account.
Keep in mind that Treasury securities are not the only type of bond that exist, but they are generally considered the safest. However, if you want a higher return on your investment, you may want to consider bonds from private companies (also called corporate bonds).