How to Calculate the Price of Treasury Bills | The Motley Fool (2024)

Treasury bills are among the safest investments in the market. They're backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, and they come in maturities ranging from four weeks to one year. When buying Treasury bills, you'll find that quotes are typically given in terms of their discount, so you'll need to calculate the actual price.

How to Calculate the Price of Treasury Bills | The Motley Fool (1)

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The calculation

Getting the price from the interest rate

To calculate the price, you need to know the number of days until maturity and the prevailing interest rate. Take the number of days until the Treasury bill matures and multiply it by the interest rate in percent. Take the result and divide it by 360, as the Treasury uses interest-rate assumptions using the common accounting standard of 360-day years.

Then, subtract the resulting number from 100. That will give you the price of a Treasury bill with a face value of $100. If you want to invest more, then you can adjust the figure accordingly.

As a simple example, say you want to buy a $1,000 Treasury bill with 180 days to maturity, yielding 1.5%. To calculate the price, take 180 days and multiply by 1.5 to get 270. Then, divide by 360 to get 0.75, and subtract 100 minus 0.75. The answer is 99.25. Because you're buying a $1,000 Treasury bill instead of one for $100, multiply 99.25 by 10 to get the final price of $992.50.

Keep in mind that the Treasury doesn't make separate interest payments on Treasury bills. Instead, the discounted price accounts for the interest that you'll earn. For instance, in the preceding example, you'll receive $1,000 at the end of the 180-day period. Because you only paid $992.50, the remaining $7.50 represents the interest on your investment over that time frame.

Treasury bill quotes can look complicated, but it's pretty easy to figure out the price. With just a few simple calculations, you can convert quotes to Treasury-bill prices, and know what you'll need to pay to invest.

To get more information on how to start investing -- in Treasury bills and other investment instruments -- head on over to our Broker Center.

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How to Calculate the Price of Treasury Bills | The Motley Fool (2024)

FAQs

How to Calculate the Price of Treasury Bills | The Motley Fool? ›

As a simple example, say you want to buy a $1,000 Treasury bill with 180 days to maturity, yielding 1.5%. To calculate the price, take 180 days and multiply by 1.5 to get 270. Then, divide by 360 to get 0.75, and subtract 100 minus 0.75. The answer is 99.25.

How much does a $10000 Treasury bill cost? ›

They are sold at a discount to face value, and the difference between the discounted price and face value is your return on investment. For example, if you buy a 12-week T-bill with a face value of $10,000 for $9,800, the difference of $200 is your return for holding the security for 12 weeks.

What is the price of a Treasury bill with a face value of $100000 yield on a bank discount basis of 5.89% and 100 days to maturity? ›

For the 100-day Treasury bill with a face value (F) of $100,000, if the yield on a bank discount basis (Yd) is quoted as 5.89%, D is equal to: D = Yd (F) = 0.0589($100,000 = $1,636.11. Price = $100,000 – $1,636.11 = $98,363.89.

How much does Warren Buffett have in Treasury bills? ›

In 2022, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway held a whopping $126 billion in U.S. Treasury bills. Buffett reportedly prefers T-bills to other options because he never wants to worry about whether or not Berkshire's pile of cash is safely invested.

How much can you make on a 3 month Treasury bill? ›

3 Month Treasury Bill Rate is at 5.22%, compared to 5.25% the previous market day and 4.98% last year. This is higher than the long term average of 4.19%. The 3 Month Treasury Bill Rate is the yield received for investing in a government issued treasury security that has a maturity of 3 months.

How do you calculate the dollar price of a treasury bill? ›

Price = Face value (1 – (discount rate x time)/360)

How do you calculate the T bill rate? ›

To calculate yield, subtract the bill's purchase price from its face value and then divide the result by the bill's purchase price. Finally, multiply your answer by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

What is the yield on a 1m Treasury bill? ›

1 Month Treasury Rate is at 5.48%, compared to 5.48% the previous market day and 4.08% last year. This is higher than the long term average of 1.44%. The 1 Month Treasury Rate is the yield received for investing in a US government issued treasury bill that has a maturity of 1 month.

How much does a 1 month Treasury bill yield? ›

Range: 5.34 to 5.42.

What is the current yield on a 6 month Treasury bill? ›

6 Month Treasury Rate is at 5.39%, compared to 5.39% the previous market day and 5.07% last year. This is higher than the long term average of 2.83%. The 6 Month Treasury Bill Rate is the yield received for investing in a US government issued treasury security that has a maturity of 6 months.

Why people don t invest in Treasury bill? ›

The biggest downside of investing in T-bills is that you're going to get a lower rate of return compared to other investments, such as certificates of deposit, money market funds, corporate bonds or stocks. If you're looking to make some serious gains in your portfolio, T-bills aren't going to cut it.

What is Warren Buffett's 90 10 rule? ›

Warren Buffet's 2013 letter explains the 90/10 rule—put 90% of assets in S&P 500 index funds and the other 10% in short-term government bonds.

Why do people still invest in Treasury bills? ›

While interest rates and inflation can affect Treasury bill rates, they're generally considered a lower-risk (but lower-reward) investment than other debt securities. Treasury bills are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. If held to maturity, T-bills are considered virtually risk-free.

What happens when T Bill matures? ›

When the bill matures, you are paid its face value. You can hold a bill until it matures or sell it before it matures.

How much does a $1000 T bill cost? ›

To calculate the price, take 180 days and multiply by 1.5 to get 270. Then, divide by 360 to get 0.75, and subtract 100 minus 0.75. The answer is 99.25. Because you're buying a $1,000 Treasury bill instead of one for $100, multiply 99.25 by 10 to get the final price of $992.50.

What is a 1 year T bill paying today? ›

Basic Info. 1 Year Treasury Rate is at 5.16%, compared to 5.17% the previous market day and 4.78% last year.

Is there a fee to buy Treasury bills? ›

Treasury bills (T-bills) are short-term securities with maturities ranging from four weeks to 52 weeks. By buying directly from the U.S. Treasury, you can avoid paying any extra fees or commissions to your bank. The U.S. Treasury has a $100 minimum to purchase a T-Bill, which is a lower minimum than many banks.

How much do you make on a 4 week treasury bill? ›

4 Week Treasury Bill Rate is at 5.28%, compared to 5.28% the previous market day and 3.29% last year. This is higher than the long term average of 1.41%. The 4 Week Treasury Bill Rate is the yield received for investing in a US government issued treasury bill that has a maturity of 4 weeks.

Which is better Treasury bills or CDs? ›

If you live in a state with income taxes, and rates are similar for CDs and T-bills, then it makes sense to go with a T-bill. The amount you save on taxes will likely result in a higher payout from a T-bill than a CD. Another benefit of T-bills is their liquidity. You can buy and sell them on a secondary market.

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