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What's a treasury bond worth?
Old 11-02-2007, 08:09 PM   #1
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What's a treasury bond worth?

My father died last September. He had some treasury bonds in his estate. I need to determine the value of the bonds on the date of his death. How do I do that? I can find historical yield info at Yahoo Finance. But what good it that? Is there some way to translate daily yields into daily values? I've never bought bonds for this very reason. I don't understand them. Stocks seem easy by comparison.
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:24 PM   #2
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A nice product for free download here from the US treasury

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/...bondwizard.htm

We use this for my dads bonds.

In the same vicinity on the same web site are a bunch of other online tools that might give you what you want without all the extra work/benefits
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:43 PM   #3
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Assuming you're asking about treasury bonds and not savings bonds, there are at least three ways:

1) Look at your dad's brokerage statements. The bonds should be marked to market.

2) Ask your broker. They should have historical data.

3) Look up the yield and calculate the value.

FRB: Federal Reserve Statistical Release H.15 - Historical Data

Bond Value Calculator
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies but I'm as confused as ever. Dad's bonds were bought directly from the treasury, not through a broker. So I don't have broker statements I can refer to.

Bunny,

Looks like the link you provided applies only to savings bonds, not treasuries. Right?


Twaddle,

Your links seem to provide yield info, not values. (I'm not quite sure how the second link applies.) As I mentioned I can find listings of historic yields. I don't know how to use yields to calculate values for bonds I have in hand. Your item 3 seems to be what I need. Can you elaborate?

Fidelity seems to have a pretty comprehensive bond trading desk. I think I'll discuss this with them since I have an account there. Vanguard too. Maybe they can explain it in terms I can understand.

thanks for trying!
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:42 PM   #5
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Somewhere near here?

Bureau of the Public Debt : Historical Treasury Bill Download
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:46 PM   #6
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The calculator I linked to will tell you the bond's value given the coupon and market yield. Unfortunately, the maturity granularity is in years, so it won't be able to give you the exact value. If you can find a calc that lets you enter the days to maturity, you should be able to get the exact bond values for a given date.
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by km4hr View Post
Fidelity seems to have a pretty comprehensive bond trading desk. I think I'll discuss this with them since I have an account there. Vanguard too. Maybe they can explain it in terms I can understand.

thanks for trying!
I would start with Fido's bond desk. What coupon and matirity are we talking about?

Reason #347 why funds and etfs are a good idea, I guess.
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:52 AM   #8
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The IRS would like an "exact" value but they are happy with a reasonable estimate.

Since it's through Treasury Direct, they won't give you any help. You can find the Wall Street Journal at a library for the day after your father's death. They probably have a price for a treasury bond close to your father's bonds interest rate and maturity date. An exact match may be found. If not, look a few days before and a few days after. The values don't change that much.

The other approach is to use a financial calculator -- HP and TI make them. You can enter the approximate prevailing interest rate, the cash stream from the actual bonds, the maturity date and a present value can be quickly calculated.

It's all close enough for government work.
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