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The 'little guy' market investor is often right; Treasury bills

What is the difference between US Government Treasury bills bought through a bank and those bought by mail from the nearest Treasury office? I am interested in security. W.R.

Original issue treasury bills (T-bills) may be purchased from a bank or by mail from the Federal Reserve Bank or branch serving your area. Original-issue T-bills purchased through a bank will be identical to those you purchase by mail if they are from the same auction. You will likely pay the bank an agent's fee for purchasing the T-bills on your behalf. But as long as you are considering original issue T-bills, there will be no other difference.

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Banks do, however, offer T-bills previously owned. That is, they operate a secondary market where owners may sell T-bills before their maturity. All T-bills, whether bought at origin or later on the secondary market, are direct obligations of the US Government and offer the same security -- full backing by the US Treasury.

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