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A Couple of Take Aways from the Treasury Yield Curve

See the end of the blog for info on specific dates used in the chart

Current Rates Are More Attractive:

Interest rates on treasury securities have become more attractive to investors who are looking for a higher interest rate for longer. Treasuries are government debt securities that are issued in a variety of maturities, for example 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 months t-bills. T-notes are issued in 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 year maturities while t-bonds are issued in 20 and 30 year increments.

The rate on 30 year treasuries is approximately 4.7% as of Sept 26th, which is 2.26% higher than the 30 year rate as of April 1st 2022. An investment with a coupon of 4.7% will pay semi-annual interest each year. For example, $20,000 put into a 30 year treasury will receive 60 interest payments totaling $28,200.00 if the treasury bond is held until the maturity date and the bond never defaults.

This means investors can take on less risk and receive a higher rate of return than before these rate hikes began; however, there are risks involved with fixed income investing like political risk, market risk, inflation risk, reinvestment risk (interest received), interest rate risk, and default risk.

We are Still at Risk of a Recession:

A lot of people are most focused on the 2-10 year difference because an ‘inversion’ is considered a leading indicator of a recession. The yield curve is inverted when the two year rate is higher than the 10 year rate.

Even though the treasury yield curve is less inverted now than it was on July 3rd 2023 when the 2-10 year were the most apart; the inversion is still signaling the risk of a recession going into 2024. The 2-10 year became inverted on April 1st 2022 by 0.05% and reached a high of 1.08% on July 3rd 2023, when the 2 year was 4.94% and the 10 year was 3.86%.

Rate hikes during this tightening cycle have been making their way through the economy and we are seeing longer term rates increase. You see the 2-10 year inversion line has less of a downward slope. The 2 year treasury rate is now approximately 4.84% and the 10 year is 4.56%. The biggest change since July 2023 is the increase in the 10 year rate.

Ideally, these changes to long term rates will eventually result in a 'Normalized' yield curve, where longer term borrowing rates are higher than short term rates. We also hope that we do not enter a recession, as higher borrowing rates continue to impact corporate earnings and may eventually create higher unemployment.

Bulldog Financial Planning provides independent financial recommendations that put you and your family's financial goals first. Treasuries, like other fixed income, are not for every investor. Please reach out to learn more about the risks of fixed income investing and whether this type of investment is best for you.

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Chart Notations:

The first chart illustrates the difference in t-bills, treasury notes and bond yields on three different dates: a) April 1st 2022, b) July 3rd 2023, and c) September 26th 2023. The second chart is for treasury notes and bonds for those same three dates.

Why compare these three days?

a) April 1st is the first day in 2022 that we saw a 2-10 year inversion.

b) July 3rd is the day that the 2-10 year inversion was the largest since the rate hikes began last year.

c) September 26th 2023 reflects the current rates.

Source of Data: U.S Department of the Treasury: Daily Treasury Par Yield Curve Rates (Accessed Sept 27th 2023)

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