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US Treasury ETF’s - A Look at Treasury ETF Choices

There have been a confusing array of US treasury ETF’s made available over the last several years. They come in a few different classes, here are some that might work for your portfolio.

One advantage of using US Treasury ETF’s is that you can purchase them for a significantly smaller amount than the minimums you will need if buying treasury instruments directly.

Recently PIMCO added their TENZ 7-15 Year Treasury Index Fund, based on the Merrill Lynch 7-15 Year US Treasury Index.

Some of the major issuers of Treasury bond ETF’s include Barclays, Ameristock, and State Street. Here are a list of several of these.

Ishares from Barclays

iShares Lehman Short Treasury Bond Fund (SHV)
iShares Lehman 1-3 Year Treasury Bond Fund (SHY)
iShares Lehman 3-7 Year Treasury Bond Fund (IEI)
iShares Lehman 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Fund (IEF)
iShares Lehman 10-20 Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLH)
iShares Lehman 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT)

Here are several of the Ameristock offerings

Ameristock/Ryan 1 Year U.S. Treasury ETF (GKA)
Ameristock/Ryan 2 Year U.S. Treasury ETF (GKB)
Ameristock/Ryan 5 Year U.S. Treasury ETF (GKC)
Ameristock/Ryan 10 Year U.S. Treasury ETF (GKD)
Ameristock/Ryan 20 Year U.S. Treasury ETF (GKE)

State Street offers some SPDRs

SPDR Lehman 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL)
SPDR Lehman Intermediate Term Treasury ETF (ITE)
SPDR Lehman Long Term Treasury ETF (TLO)

These treasury ETF’s are a good way to track a given maturity , as most are broken out by the length of maturity. Note that unlike a regular bond, these don’t actually mature in the time period called out, but track that particular index. If you are truly interested in an instrument that matures in that period of time, you may be better served with a bank CD or a real treasury bond.

Also keep in mind that while a strong selling point for ETF’s is typically low overhead costs, in the case of US treasuries they can be had for zero selling costs by purchasing directly from the US government.

Filed under ETF News

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