T Bills at u.s gov site

Since I don’t believe anyone here is washing or staining for the fun of it, I thought I would mention a super easy way to make a couple of dollars. T bills - Treasury Bills - through the U.S. government using your bank account. Their website will answer a lot of questions. https://www.treasurydirect.gov/

How it works is pretty simple, but lets say you don’t want your money tied up very long. Easy, get a shorter term Tbill. a 17 week T bill was paying 5.2% and a 13 week was paying 5.245 at last auction (rates have been high for awhile). Now that isn’t 5.2 in 13-17 weeks, that is 5.2 over a year. What really happens is this, you give the gov (example) $98.75 and then in 13-17 weeks the government gives you $100 for every $98.75 you gave them. It doesn’t sound like at lot, but it adds up by the end of a year. It likely pays a lot more than your average savings account or CD, and you don’t have to learn the markets or worry about commissions. Some of your profit isn’t taxed, but consult your laws and regulations. You can reroll it into another tbill or cash out to your bank account. I do this often checking the latest auction rates here: Announcements, Data & Results — TreasuryDirect

I won’t get into all the schemes people have for these. Simply put, check and see if it is worth your time. I love it. I can’t see why anyone in the U.S. would have a savings account probably paying 1% and get fully taxed on it at the end of the year by the fed, state, and local. Some people will get better savings rates, but the vast majority of U.S. banks pay almost no interest on savings accounts and don’t even get me started on checking accounts. What the banks do is take the money you deposited, then lend it to someone else at a higher rate (for a house, car, bike loan). They give you a paltry 1% and keep all the profits for themselves. My local bank, that I only use for cashing checks, gives a whopping .05 percent interest for savings accounts. Yep, several percentages lower than the rate of interest which means you are losing money by saving it in their bank. Plus, the paltry sum you receive in interest is fully taxable. Talk about a slap in the face, no wonder I only use them for cashing checks. I belong to a credit union, mine is much more favorable than a bank.

Anywho, thought I would throw this out here since it is the offseason and I’m just procrastinating on shoveling snow right now. I just bought more 13 and 17 week bills and thought I would mention it. I do stocks and other stuff, but this is just so easy. Get it while the gettin is good, rates may go down.


Many banks, especially online banks pay very good interest rates right now. I have Ally and I’m currently at 4.35%. I thought about 5% CDs, but when you do the math, having your money tied up for 12-18 months to make a few hundred dollars more didn’t make sense to me.


I’m glad that you are getting a better rate, but your experience differs from the norm in the country.

According to data from the FDIC, the average savings account interest rate is 0.46% APY.

  • According to the FDIC, the average savings account earns 0.46% APY, and CDs earn 0.26% to 1.37% APY.
  • Online banks tend to offer higher interest rates than the average savings account.
  • Keep in mind rates vary by bank and may fluctuate over time.

The national average yield for savings accounts is 0.55 percent APY as of Jan. 4, 2024, according to Bankrate’s most recent survey of institutions. Many online banks have savings interest rates higher than the national average savings account interest rates.

Keep in mind that the interest income that you may receive from investing in a treasury bill is exempt from any state or local income taxes, but most savings/checking CD’s are fully taxable. They will send you a 1099-INT at the end of the year for filing. You don’t have to tie up your money long term to get a better rate and lower your tax exposure, you can get t bills at even 4-8 weeks periodically. I don’t care if it is 1% more, it is 1% more for me than some banker I’ll never meet. Not attacking you, its just that I look at my money as mine and it has to work as hard or harder than me. Financially speaking, if I can’t put money into a Tbill for 13 weeks then I have much more pressing concerns.

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On a separate note, how is the lifepo (lithium iron phosphate) battery holding up? Still looking into solar, just have to have it all worked out and buy once/cry once. They are coming out with sodium batteries, which are allegedly able to charge in colder environments but bigger and heavier they say. But they are supposed to be much cheaper - 20 percent initially then if scalable up to 35-40 percent less. Speculative at this state.

We’re getting over 5% on our savings every month with an online account…they pay the interest every month……could retire on it if it stayed that way here on out, but it won’t. It will start dropping this year and into next….thanks for the info though, have to look into that.


Normal banks suck for savings, so they bring the average down. I bank with Chase and I think it’s 0.05%, that’s why I have a separate savings. Ally is great and super easy to setup and use. I have automatic transfers from my Chase checking to it set for weekly so you can do small amounts and not really notice it. Plus, with Ally you can easily setup an investment account to buy stocks. I mostly buy ETFs like VTI, VOO, SCHD which averages 8-10% in the long run.

Side note, same LiFePO battery for two years with no issues.

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VTI 10 year average - 11.44%
SCHD 10 year average - 10.5% (with reinventing dividends)

These two make up 70% of my holdings

I like dividend stocks and ETFs like SCHD because it forces me to keep investing. Dividends go straight to the investment account, so it’s easy to just click and buy more stocks than transferring it back to savings, then over to Chase checking, then spend it.


Yep, been dripping stocks for 30 years or so.

For those who don’t know - Drip basically stands for dividend reinvestment. Every quarter, if your stock pays a dividend per share, you can opt to reinvest that dividend into more (usually fractional) shares. If you do this very long term, and your stock appreciated, you can sell your initial investment and then play with the house money.


A lot of my customers held off on ‘services’ this year due to high 5% money market rates. They are stuffing all their extra cash into these accounts.

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Schwab money marker rate: SNOXX currently paying 5.0553% 7 day yield, take in out any time you want.

Made a lot of money selling bonds not owning them lol. If you are considering bonds just know most bonds can be bought and sold by the owner regardless of the maturity date but they then sell at current market value. Current market value changes from things like: maturity, supply and demand, rising and falling interest rates and credit rating.

Trivia question, which is bigger the equity (stock) market or the bond market?

This is no gimmick !
I put over 100k into T-bills last year: 25k in a 3 month 25k in a 6 month and 50k in a 12 month … it’s ABSOLUTLEY RISK FREE
By that I mean your initial investment is secure … It offers great returns and as mentioned above, tax benefits… No reason anyone shouldn’t use them. Your money is not tied up like in a CD either, if you need to get your hands on it, you just sell it and take a small loss… totally worth it. One of the best things I have done.
Disclaimer: I did use an advisor and everything was done at my fingertips through Fidelity app on my phone.

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y, Fidelity is great. They have huge market in CD’s too, with all kind of maturities. Did notice that in past few weeks, 1 year rates have been dropping.


Yeah, I don’t know if you heard what the fed said recently, but they were leaning towards cuts. YOu know all those wall street guys got addicted to no interest and have been crying non stop since rates went up. Don’t get me wrong, the fed makes things worse by trying to counter normal market corrections thereby exacerbating the situation. I’m not creating a t bill ladder, but I have some longer (not really long term) term stuff now that I think +5% it is going to end. Might as well lock 5 in for a minute.

y, I started doing a 1 year ladder a couple of years ago when the bond market turned using 90 day intervals, so every 90 days I have a portion renewing and have one renewing in a couple of weeks. New rates for 1 yr were down to like 4.70 versus like 5.20 I got 3months ago. 90 days was still over 5%.

Be careful with the treasury direct. My mom had been using for many years to buy TIPs. she went 3-4 years w/o doing anything and they deactivated her account after 2 years even though she had a decent amount in there. It was a real hassle to get them redeemed and getting someone on the phone was virtually impossible. I spent literally hours on hold and never got anyone. She finally had to get her bank involved. But it was a major ordeal, so just don’t let your account get inactive.

@Machit - Bond mkt is 3 times size of stock market.


Forgive me if it’s a dumb question but I have to ask. What is the reasoning for doing this over dumping all cash into s&p500 where you will average about 10 percent roi?

Is it just the guaranteed smaller amount with no chance of it lowering in a short amount of time?

If you are younger, and have the cash to Just ignore for say 20 years, are you going to still go this route?

I have been into s&p500 for about 8 years now, and even with the economy being what it is, have at worst gotten an overall average of ROI of 8 percent, and at best, 22%.

I played stocks and such for a short amount of time but I must be a weeny. It was SUPER stressful to me and it was all the time. The only thing I’ve been investing in that seems to pay great dividends has been myself and the business. The roi has been amazing with that.

You guys have always been amazing with learning me up, and I value your opinion so I’d love to hear your input.


For me, and in my situation, I favor diversification and I always want a portion of my investment income in some type of cash ready instrument. Trying to get out of a tumbling market is tough. I have a deferred compensation program, stocks in my personal investment portfolio, some physical metal, and some cash and tbills. This is what works for me and my risk tolerance. The younger you are, the more tolerance you have (they say this because you have time to recover).

Having played with stocks, and have been around and watched several bubbles, I like my stuff more fluid. I’m a bit of a contrarian investor. I made some nice plays on bubbles bursting. Not enough to have a butler, but enough that if I stop working today I will be alright. Can’t make those plays if you are in a fund. I’ve lost some, saw the saudis trash my biodiesel play, and had a couple of ten and twenty baggers.

Just keep in mind that standard and poor’s has changed stocks numerous time over the years, and there is no guarantee that it will continue to make you money. If the market tumbles, it could take years for you to break even again. Most newer investors haven’t been around for a real market correction. I want to say the last real correction was 07-08.


wow, thanks for the tip. What a nightmare. I got locked out of my account because I was a dummy and had caps lock on, and had to wait on hold for about 40 minutes to get it unlocked. I have my tbill account set up so that nothing rolls over, the proceeds roll right back into my credit union, nothing sits in their account. I set an alert on my phone to tell me to look at tbills again once they reach maturation.

This is going to be a long post - I spent the first 20 years of my career n the investment business. Started out right after college trading options with what was then Merrill Lynch. By the time I was 27 I was a sr vp with one of the largest bond trading firms in the country. Had my own broker dealer, ran a hedge fund for awhile and an online live trading room for about 5 years. Quit, simply because I got burned out. Now I just primarily trade futures and commodities since I can do some of it at night.
@Dirtyboy has some good points. Even though you’re younger, keep a decent amount in cash or equivalents, ie 1yr or shorter t bills or CD’s. Spread your risk, maybe have some precious metals, a little bitcoin, some higher yielding stuff and reinvest your dividends. The SPY is the ETF for the SPX and for a good overall market trending play is your best bet. But on any of your investments have a trending indicator to prevent large drawdowns. People who had a lot of long term bonds have gotten killed in past 2 years, including most banks which hold a lot of long term treasuries. That’s what happened last Spring when several good sized ones went under. And most are still sitting on huge losses.

Making money is easy, especially when the market has gone straight up. The hard part is keeping it. But there are some basic guidelines you can do to prevent that. Going to share some charts with you’ll that show that a huge drawdown can literally take you decades to make up. If you had bought the DOW index in 1929 at the 273 level and held, it would have you 50 years just to get back to even.

So here are some links for you. You think you’ve done well, but thanks to the Fed and all the money printing the market has gone straight up for past 15 years. It doesn’t always work like that.

Now go read this - https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2024/01/02/regression-to-trend-s-p-composite-140-above-trend-in-december?topic=market-indicators

Now it can keep going higher, markets can get to very extremes at times, but just keep the above in mind.

Now go study this. https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2023/12/29/moving-averages-s-p-finishes-december-up-4-4?topic=asset-allocation
See the DOW chart towards the bottom

And then go buy this book - https://www.amazon.com/Ivy-Portfolio-Invest-Endowments-Markets/dp/1118008855

I personally like using the 12 month moving average, 12SMA, for general guidance. The 20, 50 and 200 sma are the most commonly used, but mainly on shorter term charts.

Single most important advice I can give you - ‘Discipline Triumphs Conviction’. I’ve seen people literally get murdered by hanging on to their favorite stock or trading idea

Bitcoin chart -

Lot of true believers rode it down from 60k plus to below 20k in a year

Or another of my favorites lol - Chart PTON Peloton Interactive Inc

The landscape has changed some. We’ve been in a 40 bull market for bonds with the 10yr treasury, which is the basic guideline when you hear people talking rates. How would have liked to have been the poor sap who bought some 30 year bonds when the rate were down at 1-2%. You’ve lost nearly 1/2 your money.

So something as simple as a simple trendline on a chart can save or make you a lot of money. Also realize no one ever catches the exact top or bottom except maybe once in a hundred. That’s the other thing that kills people. It’ll go up and then start pulling back and even hit their sell price and they’ll say ’ well if I wait it may go back up. So always have stop in place and adhere to it. Commissions are cheap.

Here’s an article I wrote in 2007 about TL’s that has always and always will work.

Trendlines are one of the most simple, yet most valid indicators that anyone can use and they work on any time frame that you want. I still use everyday.

I’m done. Given you plenty to get started.


Nice racer, I’ll have to hit you up for tips :smiley: I’m just self taught, read a couple of books, used the investing tools available through the brokerage, and listened to the business channels everyday (just to learn their language). I was poor, lived in public housing and was on welfare for awhile growing up. Just made a decision that that life wasn’t for me and I was going to do something about it. It didn’t happen overnight, and there were some pretty lean years, but nothing in life worth having comes easy.

I still remember opening a brokerage account at legg mason (there weren’t any online brokerages at that time) and quickly learning how much of a scumbag the average broker was . Cold calling sales you know they bought up before they announced.

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Sounds like you’ve read and learned a lot. One of the things I do love about it, is you learn something every day and you’re competing against some of the best and brightest along with some incredible technology that these big firms employ.

Get that book and read it. Especially good for someone who doesn’t want to be messing with it constantly. Can look at once a month for an hour and beat 95% of the hedge funds or traders out there. The guy that wrote it, Mebane Faber is smart. Here’s a cheap price on it used.