Investors wary of the roller-coaster stock market and looking to park their money in a safe investment are getting a new option from the U.S. Treasury.
The Treasury Department said Monday that, beginning July 31, it will sell a new security that matures in four weeks. The shortest Treasury maturity now available to investors is a three-month bill.
The four-week bills will be sold each Tuesday afternoon.
The new security--like the three-month and six-month Treasury bills--will be auctioned in increments of $1,000 to make them attractive for individual investors. The return will be determined by the auction, but investors shouldn't expect an interest payment windfall. Three-month Treasury bills were yielding a meager 3.53% on Monday.
Individual investors can bid in four-week bill auctions through the Bureau of Public Debt's Web site at http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov or by mail, Treasury officials said. Or they can place bids through banks or investment brokers.
Treasury officials first announced the four-week bill in May, but needed time to work out details. In the first few months, $8 billion to $16 billion of the four-week bills will be sold, a Treasury official said.
The Treasury Department said the new bill will give it greater flexibility in managing its cash needs, reduce its dependence on cash management bills and improve the cost-efficiency of its short-term financing.