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I'm going to start adding links to key replies in this thread and to other web pages that provide useful info, so folks can use this post as sort of a reference, rather than searching the entire thread for key information. Please let me know if you think there are any other web pages or replies that should be included.
- This blog post by Harry Sit shows how to buy Treasuries at auction.
- This blog post by Harry Sit shows how to buy Treasuries on the secondary market.
- Tentative Treasury auction schedule.
- For an explanation of how TIPS inflation adjustment is done, read the BACKGROUND section on the left side of this web page: http://eyebonds.info/tips/help.html.
- Buying at Vanguard on secondary market: detailed walkthrough
- Buying at Fidelity on secondary market: detailed walkthrough.
- Narrowing the search at Fidelity.
- TIPS purchase summary, with detailed numbers.
- TIPS yield curve and seasonal adjustment update. I highly recommend you read this before asking questions about seasonal adjustments in this thread.
I'd like to keep this focused on trading at brokers, not at TreasuryDirect, where you can't really "trade", because you can't sell.
I've been buying Treasuries (nominal and TIPS) in my Fidelity IRA. Here are the purchases I've made:
Note that I bought 10 nominal and 10 TIPS in June of 2021, with the nominal yield at a ridiculous 0.16%. Normally I never would have done that, but I wanted to see how the nominal and TIPS performed. Fidelity shows the nominal with a gain/loss of -2.28%, and the TIPS with a gain/loss of -0.09%. The TIPS is ahead as expected due to higher than expected inflation, but not by as much as one might expect. Unlike the nominal, the TIPS yield has not increased by much, up from -2.89% on 6/8/2021 to -2.67% on 5/18/2022 (when I bought another 10).
All of my other purchases have been in April and May of this year.
From April to later in April or May, yields on a one of my nominals and one of my TIPS had increased by 20 basis points or more, so I bought 10 more of each.
Harry Sit has a blog post showing how to buy Treasuries at auction, so that's a good place to start. However, I have bought all of my Treasuries on the secondary market, so you'd start with the first few screens Harry Shows, but then deviate to get to secondary market securities. I could post some screenshots of how to buy on the secondary market at Fidelity, Vanguard and Schwab if people think it would be useful. Or someone else could do it.
I prefer buying on the secondary market since I know the yield I'm getting, and settlement is T+1 instead of potentially a number of days between auction and settlement. The spread between large and small orders has been quite small lately, so I don't think you're paying much of a premium to buy on the secondary market. Sometimes a new issue might have a yield a bit higher than expected though.
Please share your experience in trading Treasuries, or ask any questions you have about it.