Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

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shariron
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Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by shariron » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:51 pm

I had been purchasing paper I-Bonds, $5g for me & $5g for spouse, at the local bank each year, for several years. My investment plan calls for continuing to do so every year. With this option no longer available and with the horror stories & serious concerns I’ve read here about TD, I am wondering what others who always went the paper route are now doing? Hoping for the best with TD? Intentionally overpaying your taxes? (not an attractive option & difficult to estimate) Forgetting it altogether and substituting something else for I-bonds?

ShowMeTheER
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by ShowMeTheER » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:55 pm

For every 'horror story' that is posted, there are countless smooth transactions. Give it a try for yourself first. Like me, you may find that it is fast and easy.

centrifuge41
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by centrifuge41 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:56 pm

I'm doing both. TreasuryDirect and 5k paper via tax overpayment. It gives me more yearly maximum. No point converting the paper to electronic for me. I scanned a picture of all the bonds, and I'm keeping them somewhere safe.

TD has been fine for me. Now that there is no access card, I don't think it's a hassle. The only weird thing is that it sometimes auto-emails me a new one-time registration code when it needs to store a new cookie on my computer. This happens every few months or so.

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NAVigator
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by NAVigator » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:17 pm

At one point I got nervous about TD from the various reports and cashed in my I-bonds. After about 6 months I realized I was reacting to the mob mentality. I came to my senses when I realized that I-bonds are still a good product and I was not participating out of some kind of fear. So, now I am back in, buying the limit each year and trying to forget my rash behavior of selling my I-bonds with much better rates.

Jerry
"I was born with nothing and I have most of it left."

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camper
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by camper » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:44 pm

The horror stories about Treasury Direct here are vastly overblown IMHO.
My goal: "One day I might wake up and decide to call in "rich"!" :D ~posted by bhsince87

Userdc
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by Userdc » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:41 pm

The TD interface is a little clunky, but no more so than some privately run financial institutions i use. I've never had any problems doing the basic transactions necessary to buy-and-hold.

The old physical login card was annoying, but that's gone now.

stan1
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by stan1 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:58 pm

There's definitely a treasury bond vocabulary that you have to learn, and the site doesn't exactly help since it uses the jargon and acronyms as if everyone using the site was a Bureau of Public Debt techno-bureaucrat. It's not the most intuitive website you'll use, but everything I've wanted to know is there. As with anything else, if you log in once a month you'll know more about the site than if you log in once per year just to make a purchase.

fidelio
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by fidelio » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:08 am

yes, the site is clunky and really a pain in the neck, but i wouldn't call it a horror show. i can report that my ibonds are all still listed on td, the accounting appears correct, and as others have stated, since the "special card" was eliminated (almost impossible!), it works.

shariron
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by shariron » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:54 am

Thank you everyone for the replies. Based on them I will give TD a try!

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SSSS
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by SSSS » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:40 am

Regardless of the millions of useless words wasted on the subject, I prefer to focus on the reality: nobody has ever lost a dime from using Treasury Direct.

marc515
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by marc515 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:08 am

Treasury direct is extremely convenient and relatively easy to use. I like that I don't have to worry about safe keeping, etc.; it's all automated and It's nice and easy to cash in a bond(s) and have the funds appear in your bank in a day or two. We sent in all our paper bonds and had them converted.

The site could use some upgrades, but other than that, I would highly recommend it over paper.

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sometimesinvestor
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by sometimesinvestor » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:04 pm

the first time its bad but once you have registered and then certify the computer you log on with(hopefully a secure home computer)its not that big a deal though you need to remember your password and account number.one issue that some people have noted is that there are lots of security questions to answer(you can't pick the ones you want to answer) and some are subjective like Favorite movie or best friend in high schoool that you might not remember unless you wtite it down . The main purpose of certifying your computer (they may use a different term )is that when you log on from that computer you will be asked for account # and password but not security questions.

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FlyHi
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by FlyHi » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:51 pm

I converted my paper IBonds but I can't find the accrued interest for them on the TD website. E-mailing TD did me no good as they just send me cookie cutter instructions that don't answer my problem. Does anyone out there know how I can find the accrued interest?

To the OP - don't get me wrong I still am buying IBonds every year.
“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy”

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NAVigator
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by NAVigator » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:37 pm

FlyHi wrote:I converted my paper IBonds but I can't find the accrued interest for them on the TD website. E-mailing TD did me no good as they just send me cookie cutter instructions that don't answer my problem. Does anyone out there know how I can find the accrued interest?

To the OP - don't get me wrong I still am buying IBonds every year.

How many different ways do you think there are to see your bond information? I would think there would be one way - ie cookie cutter.

I just went to my account and clicked on "Current Holdings". At the bottom is the Savings Bond section. Select "Series I Savings Bond" and click Submit. It displays each bond, the amount (purchase price) and the Current Value. Subtraction gives you the accrued interest for each bond.

Your converted bonds are under a "Linked Account". From "My Account" there is an option for Converted Bonds. Click on that option and any converted bond information will be displayed. I don't have any so it shows no information for me.

I hope this is a cookie cutter description of what they sent you.

Jerry
"I was born with nothing and I have most of it left."

DesertMan
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by DesertMan » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:20 pm

It's been two months, or more, since I sent in a lost bond replacement request and a paper-to-electronic conversion request. I'm still waiting on both of them.

So, you can't lose your money but you can find yourself without access to it for a really long time if you do the "wrong things." Apparently, the "wrong things" include anything having to do with paper bonds, losing your password, changing your bank account, changing computers and forgetting your security questions and thus getting locked out.... and who knows what else.

As a result, I can't recommend using I Bonds as an emergency fund or as a short-term investment. For that there are CDs and Vanguard's selection of (muni) bond funds.

Sam I Am
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by Sam I Am » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:34 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SSSS
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by SSSS » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:46 pm

I think most of the folks who complain about the Treasury Direct user interface obviously never used "Legacy Treasury Direct":

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/mya ... ectdes.htm

Taken in proper context, the current Treasury Direct is an engineering marvel.

Being able to log into your account on the weekend is great.

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dkdoy
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by dkdoy » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:10 pm

camper wrote:The horror stories about Treasury Direct here are vastly overblown IMHO.




I agree

patrick
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by patrick » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:32 pm

I have recently started using Treasury Direct and haven't seen any problems with the web site. However I have yet to withdraw any funds from it, and the requirement to get a signature guarantee to open the account is certainly very annoying!

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Rainier
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by Rainier » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:57 pm

patrick wrote:I have recently started using Treasury Direct and haven't seen any problems with the web site. However I have yet to withdraw any funds from it, and the requirement to get a signature guarantee to open the account is certainly very annoying!


I just opened an account and never needed a signature guarantee.
- Bill

saddle point
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by saddle point » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:08 pm

patrick wrote:I have recently started using Treasury Direct and haven't seen any problems with the web site. However I have yet to withdraw any funds from it, and the requirement to get a signature guarantee to open the account is certainly very annoying!

I didn't need a signature guarantee until I changed banks.

MKP
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by MKP » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:15 pm

my transactions have been fine on two accounts so far. ...knock on wood.

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tetractys
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by tetractys » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:36 pm

I've never had a problem with TD and not sure why anyone else would. TD has shown itself to be secure, despite what some have claimed. It does require following some detailed instructions, which I suppose some may not have the patience or ability for. Signature Guarantee's bug me; but that's not specific to TD. Investing in US Treasuries online right from the source sure is convenient, and the price is right. -- Tet

fidelio
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by fidelio » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:30 pm

i can state that several users of the forum have described nightmare scenarios involving use of powers of attorney, forms, etc., in probate situations. one fellow indicated he gave up tryi g to get access to a small inheritance of ebonds after an endless runaround by td. that makes me pause .... try searching on the "personal finance" forum for those stories. while i've never personally had significant problems, i've never attempted to withdraw money or set up a joint account or whatever.

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NAVigator
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by NAVigator » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:16 am

I think this applies;
Mark Twain wrote:I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.

Jerry
"I was born with nothing and I have most of it left."

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Raybo
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by Raybo » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:33 am

Both my wife and I have accounts at TD. I have access to both accounts and do all the interactions on-line. With the new login procedure, I have to have access to my wife's computer (it is across the room from mine) and her email account. So far, no big deal.

Recently, she (I) cashed in all of her E-bonds to pay off the remaining mortgage on the house. It was as simple as getting to the right screen and then requesting a redemption. It showed up in her bank account the next day, as promised.

While the various login changes and password arrangements are a bother the first time, it does make it more secure and I am glad that the government is keeping up with on-line security trends.

As for power of attorney and all that, simply having access to both accounts makes most of that unnecessary.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

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rustymutt
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by rustymutt » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:15 am

Since TD updated their website last year, I've had zero issues with it. Mute point anymore. The website works well, our minds sometimes don't.
Last edited by rustymutt on Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Howard Roark
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by Howard Roark » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:54 pm

I have been using TD for several years for various products, mostly Series I bonds. I had no problem.

Incidently, I'm not purchasing I-bonds much since the fixed rates dropped to 0. I'm thinking interest rates will have to go up and have instead been buying up 52-week T-bills and reinvesting them. I have T-bills maturing every four weeks.

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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by Angst » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:08 pm

I've had no problems with TD, with and w/o the de-coder card. As much as the paper bonds are neat to look at, I'm happy to be electronic now. I do think it would be a good thing if they'd offer some sort of account statement to alleviate fears people have due to the absence of any hard documentation of the existance of their TD accounts. Even if those statements were exclusively electronic, why they don't offer to email you statements is beyond me.

Candor
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by Candor » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:17 pm

I've been using TD since 2003 and haven't had any problems until the last few months. Every time I log in it requires me to input a temp passcode that is sent to my e-mail acct. because it states my computer isn't registered. I check the box to register my computer but to no avail. I'm sure there is a simple solution but I haven't tried to figure it out b/c I can't be bothered as long as I still have access with this minor inconvenience.

fidelio
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by fidelio » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:39 am

candor, i've had the same issue - have to use a temp pw almost every time. just a "glitch" in their software?

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dratkinson
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by dratkinson » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:12 pm

shariron wrote:...
horror stories & serious concerns...
Intentionally overpaying your taxes? (not an attractive option & difficult to estimate)
...


TD Website.

Just take your time and follow the TD navigation instructions. It's not too bad.

Before buying my first bond from TD, I explored the website, all of it's tabs/pages, and learned what could be done.

I learned that you could cancel any purchase before it is executed. So I submitted an actual purchase and noted its pending status. I then canceled it and noted it went away. Whole process only required a few minutes and I was then confident I could use the TD website. Then I submitted my actual purchase and it was executed the next day. I noted the actual purchase sequence number was incremented to account for the canceled purchase. So nothing unexpected happened.

During my learning the TD website, I learned you can also submit a purchase timed to execute on a specific date. This is handy for targeting the last business day of the month, and still get credit for the whole month---while keeping my money in my savings account longer. This is much more handy than needing to remember to actually go online with TD at the end of the month.



Overpaying tax return.

As for overpaying your taxes by $5K, I used the "submit payment with tax filing extension request" method last March. (Mailed request/payment by USPS certified receipt.)

Just for grins, I set up my checking account to notify (by email) me when the check number cleared.

When I received the email notification the check had cleared (1-2 weeks, don't remember exactly), I submitted my tax return.

Received my Ibonds in late April.

Couldn't have been easier.

N.B. These seemed to be a problem with IRS rounding that prevented some from getting their Ibonds. I may have avoided this problem by leaving $500 on account with IRS as a prepayment for next year.
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

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ElJay
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by ElJay » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:59 pm

I have money go into TD every pay period and it buys I Bonds for me automatically. I log in perhaps once a quarter to make sure everything is still there.

I agree that customer service is useless in my limited interaction with them, so I hope to never encounter a serious problem.

CrowTRobot
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by CrowTRobot » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:01 am

Candor wrote:..... Every time I log in it requires me to input a temp passcode that is sent to my e-mail acct. because it states my computer isn't registered. I check the box to register my computer but to no avail. I'm sure there is a simple solution but I haven't tried to figure it out b/c I can't be bothered as long as I still have access with this minor inconvenience.

With me, it's every other time; still, I've had no problems putting money in - I haven't tried taking any out, yet. I do print a copy of each purchase; it's probably overkill, but it makes me feel better.

femtoman
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by femtoman » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:35 pm

The jargon on the website is pretty funny. My favorite is the "Zero-Percent Certificate of Indebtedness," which is basically a zero-percent savings/money market account that you can put cash in - it's useful as a holding place until you're ready to buy a security.

I've had no problems. I feel that the site's security is on par with most financial institutions. You will receive a "one time passcode" via e-mail each time you use a new computer or new browser that doesn't have a saved cookie for TD. This is actually a pretty nice security feature.

nonnie
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by nonnie » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:11 pm

fidelio wrote:i can state that several users of the forum have described nightmare scenarios involving use of powers of attorney, forms, etc., in probate situations. one fellow indicated he gave up tryi g to get access to a small inheritance of ebonds after an endless runaround by td. that makes me pause .... try searching on the "personal finance" forum for those stories. while i've never personally had significant problems, i've never attempted to withdraw money or set up a joint account or whatever.


I think you're referring to me re giving up on inherited ebonds. This was a very unusual situation and while it was a nightmare, I wouldn't judge TD on that. We continue to hold paper and electronic I-bonds.

I did have a very interesting experience a couple months ago when TD didn't cancel a duplicate order for I-bonds properly and then kept sending me notices that my bank account didn't have enough funds to make the second purchase and then when I funded it they purchased the second $10K I-bond and then a couple weeks later they told me I had violated their rules and refunded the second I-bond-- but that'sjust me--everything always goes wrong.

Is there a reason to check holdings on the TD website rather than with the Savings Bond Wizard?

Nonnie
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DavidC
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by DavidC » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:10 pm

nonnie wrote:Is there a reason to check holdings on the TD website rather than with the Savings Bond Wizard?

Well for Series I bonds I would say it is only necessary to use the TD website if
  1. You are paranoid and want to make sure the bonds haven't been sold/transferred away without you knowing :shock:
  2. Your electronic bonds were purchased in amounts different from the paper denominations (e.g. $77.21 is a valid purchase electronic amount but could not be tracked in the SBW since that is not a valid paper denomination)
Series EE bonds have their own special gotcha that I never could get through to leberk.
In true boglehead fashion my chief concern is saving enough to withstand 7 consecutive biblical plagues. - TheNightsToCome

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TF Hutch
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by TF Hutch » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:48 pm

Google is the worst for loading up my computer with unwanted "cookies." I choose to delete all cookies after every online session. For those who choose to delete "cookies" you will have to go through the email 1 time password each time you log on to Treasury Direct. Vanguard, my bank and TD all work the same way and make for a few extra steps to login. By deleting cookies everytime I have become familiar with the security questions and thier answers.

I have no idea if my deleting cookies does any good for security puposes but it makes me feel better not to have all those companys (Doubleclick etc) loading my computer with cookies to track every move I make on the computer. Yes, I understand deleting cookies does not delete ALL of them.
Hutch | A fool and his funds are soon parted! - Thomas Tusser (English Farmer and Writer. 1524-1580)

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dratkinson
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by dratkinson » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:19 pm

TF Hutch wrote:Google is the worst for loading up my computer with unwanted "cookies." I choose to delete all cookies after every online session. For those who choose to delete "cookies" you will have to go through the email 1 time password each time you log on to Treasury Direct. Vanguard, my bank and TD all work the same way and make for a few extra steps to login. By deleting cookies everytime I have become familiar with the security questions and thier answers.

I have no idea if my deleting cookies does any good for security puposes but it makes me feel better not to have all those companys (Doubleclick etc) loading my computer with cookies to track every move I make on the computer. Yes, I understand deleting cookies does not delete ALL of them.


You could use a utility like CCleaner. One of its options is to delete unwanted cookies. It runs at startup and deletes all cookies except for those you tell it to keep. Works for me.

When I visit a website I want to remember me, after a session, I tell CCleaner to save its cookie(s). (CCleaner displays a list of all cookies it finds, and I pick the one(s) to save by adding it to the list of saved cookies.)
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

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Bounca
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Re: Is Treasury Direct so bad that I should no longer….

Post by Bounca » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:08 pm

There's definitely a treasury bond vocabulary that you have to learn, and the site doesn't exactly help since it uses the jargon and acronyms as if everyone using the site was a Bureau of Public Debt techno-bureaucrat. It's not the most intuitive website you'll use, but everything I've wanted to know is there. As with anything else, if you log in once a month you'll know more about the site than if you log in once per year just to make a purchase.


That's my philosophy. I haven't logged in for about 9 years and don't plan on until I'm ready to sell.

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