US Treasuries are the safest possible place to invest your money. There is nothing on planet earth safer. Treasury bonds are issued and backed by the federal government, the full faith and credit of the United States Government. The advantage is safety; the disadvantage is the yield you may earn can be lower than other investment options. The question to ask is simple, is the lesser yield still sufficient for your needs?
US Treasuries are issued in four difference categories: Bills, Notes, TIPS and Bonds.
Treasury Bills (T-Bills) have a maturity date of 1 year or less, they are short term by nature. Four options exist for time duration of investment, 4 weeks, 13 weeks, 26 weeks, and 52 weeks maturity. Treasury Bills do not pay interest instead they are sold at discount and in denominations of $100. As an example, a $1000 T-Bill with a maturity of 52 weeks might sell for $975. At the end of maturity (52 weeks) the owner of the T-Bill would receive $1,000.
Treasury Notes (T-Notes) A T-Note has a longer maturity time period than T-Bills, 1 year to 10 years. Notes are issued in denominations of $1,000 with interest paid every 6 months. T-Notes are issued with the full face value of the note and not as a discounted face value.
Treasury Bonds (T-Bonds) T-Bonds are issued for longer time period than T-Notes, 10 years to 30 years to maturity. Bonds are issued at face value and interest is paid every 6 months. The most popular time period is 30 years.
Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) these are US Treasuries issued with an added benefit, they are designed to help offset inflation. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities are issued with 5, 10 and 30 year maturity dates. Interest is paid every 6 months and is a set rate but at maturity additional interest can be paid based on inflation history.
Regardless of which US Treasury you choose, safety of principal is always the underlying benefit.