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U.S. Government and Agency Bonds

The U.S. government borrows heavily. And that's an opportunity for investors. Here's where you'll learn how to invest in government and agency securities, including U.S. Savings Bonds, Treasuries (bonds, notes, bills and TIPS) and the debt of so-called government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and agencies such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

Overview of US Savings Bonds
When the average American thinks about bonds, he thinks about the very safe, but low yielding investments known as U.S. Savings Bonds. Although popular with beginning and ultra-conservative investors, Savings Bonds can be complicated. About.com's Banking/Loan guide offers this overview.

What are Treasury Bills, Treasury Notes, and Treasury Bonds?
Find out the differences among the three types of government bonds: Treasury bills, Treasury notes, and Treasury bonds.

Historical Calendar Year Returns for U.S. Treasuries
The historical performance of U.S. Treasuries: calendar year returns for the 10-year note for each year since 1991, with historical context.

Everything You Need to Know About Floating Rate Treasuries
Get all the details on floating rate Treasury bonds. Find out if floating rate Treasuries right for you, and what you should expect in terms of yield.

How Safe are U.S. Treasuries?
U.S. Treasuries are generally considered one of the safest – if not the safest – investments in the global financial markets. While this is true, it depends how you invest. If you own Treasuries via mutual funds or ETFs, or if you sell them before they mature, they can in fact be quite risky. Find out more about the potential risks of U.S....

Historical U.S. Treasury Yield Charts
See the long-term, historical yield charts for 2-year, 5-year, and 10-year U.S. Treasuries, together with a brief description of the forces influencing Treasuries' yield movements over time.

Chart of 2- to 10-year Treasury Yield Spread: 1976-Present
The historical chart of the 2- to 10-Year Treasury yield spread, with historical context. How does today's 2- to 10-year spread compare to history?

Treasury Direct: The Easiest Way to Invest in U.S. Government Bonds
TreasuryDirect is one of the best resources for investors who want to purchase U.S. government bonds, or who simply want to learn more about how the government manages its debt. Find out more about how TreasuryDirect can help you manage your bond investments.

How U.S. Treasuries Can Help Diversify Your Portfolio
U.S. Treasuries currently offer low yields, but bond funds that invest in Treasuries - can provide investors with important diversification benefits.

What Is the Safest Investment? Treasuries Pose Little Risk; Offer Smal
If you're primary goal in investing is to not lose money, consider buying U.S. government debt. Treasuries are backed by the "the full faith and credit" of the federal government. But don't be misled. There are risks in all investments -- even in treasuries.

What are Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS)?
Learn about the risks and historical performance of mortgage-backed securities, their role in your portfolio, and the various ways to invest in mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

What Are Zero-Coupon Bonds and "Strips"?
Zero-Coupon Bonds are sold at a deep discount to their face value. In many cases, interest is compounded and paid at maturity rather than during the life of the bond. In other cases, a financial institution "strips" the interest payment from a fixed-income investment and resells it as a zero coupon.

Investing in Zero Coupon Bonds and Bond Funds
Zero-coupon bond funds and ETFs can be much riskier than individual zero-coupon bonds. Find out the key differences between the two, and determine whether funds or individual zeroes are the better options.

What is the Flight to Quality?
What is the flight to quality, and how can you profit when it takes place?

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