Originally created 02/22/98

Money line



Q: Would you be kind enough to list the auction schedule of the United States Treasury notes? You have listed them through January, and I'm interested in February, for the next quarter.

-- B.M.F., Providence, R.I.

A: Thanks for the reminder. Today's column includes dates for the auction of U.S. Treasury bills, notes and bonds for February, March and April.

Many readers who buy Treasury securities directly from the government, through the "Treasury Direct" program, use this quarterly schedule to help plan their investments. (More than 825,000 investors hold $84 billion worth of securities through the Treasury Direct program, according to government figures.)

Just remember that the schedule is subject to change, so be sure to check with the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta at (404) 521-8657 (or Richmond, Va., for South Carolina readers) to confirm dates and details shortly before each auction is held.

By the way: The Treasury's Bureau of the Public Debt recently expanded the features of a toll-free number used by existing Treasury Direct customers, said Van Zeck, acting commissioner of the Treasury's Bureau of the Public Debt.

You can now use the number, (800) 943-6864, to order an account statement, check your account balance, or order a duplicate interest-income statement (Form 1099-INT) by calling between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern Time Mondays through Fridays.

"These new services bring us closer to our goal of making it possible for Treasury Direct customers to handle their investments electronically," Zeck said in a statement. (You can still use the toll-free number 24 hours a day to tell the Treasury to automatically reinvest the proceeds of your maturing securities.)

FEBRUARY

Tue., Feb. 24, 2-year note auction; Wed., Feb. 25, 5-year note auction; Thu., Feb. 26, 52-week bill auction

MARCH

Wed., March 18, 2-year note announcement; Wed., March 18, 5-year note announcement; Fri., March 20, 52-week bill announcement; Tue., March 24 2-year note auction; Wed., March 25 5-year note auction; Thu., March 26 52-week bill auction

APRIL

Wed., April 1, 30-year index announcement; Wed., April 8, 30-year index auction; Fri., April 17, 52-week bill announcement; Wed., April 22, 2-year note announcement; Wed., April 22, 5-year note announcement; Thu., April 23, 52-week bill auction; Tue., April 28, 2-year note auction; Wed., April 29, 5-year note auction

THIS SCHEDULE IS tentative. "30-year index" is inflation-indexed bond with 30-year term. Auctions for three-month and six-month bills are normally held Mondays, but are typically postponed a day when there's a Monday holiday. Treasury is to post next quarterly auction schedule May 6. SOURCE: Bureau of the Public Debt

TODAY'S TIP: A "reverse mortgage" can let an older homeowner tap the equity in his or her home to help pay for one-time expenses or to provide an income supplement.

But reverse mortgages aren't for everyone. The National Center for Home Equity Conversion, a nonprofit group that helps consumers learn about reverse mortgages and alternatives, has published a brochure to help you decide.

What You Don't Know About Reverse Mortgages CAN Hurt You highlights some of the problems and pitfalls of reverse mortgages.

For a copy of this fact sheet, and of the most recent state-by-state list of the group's preferred reverse-mortgage lenders and counselors, send a check or money order for $1 and a self-addressed stamped business-size envelope to: NCHEC Preferred, Room 115, 7373 147th St., Apple Valley, MN 55124.

Neil Downing is a writer for the Providence Journal-Bulletin in Rhode Island. Do you have a question about your money matters? Call (401) 277-7484 and leave a message, or write to MoneyLine, c/o Business News, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903. Mr. Downing can't reply personally, but as many questions and issues as possible will appear in his column.