Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Discussion of the Cash portion of the Permanent Portfolio

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jhogue
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by jhogue » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:47 am

What makes you think that Fidelity and Vanguard are somehow safer than the U.S. Treasury?
“Groucho Marx wrote:
A stock trader asked him, "Groucho, where do you put all your money?" Groucho was said to have replied, "In Treasury bonds", and the trader said, "You can't make much money on those." Groucho said, "You can if you have enough of them!"
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by jacksonm2 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:58 pm

jhogue wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:47 am
What makes you think that Fidelity and Vanguard are somehow safer than the U.S. Treasury?
If this question is directed at me I thought I gave the reason in my post. I have no idea which of those three are the most or least hackable. I just believe that if I was hacked I would rather deal with Fidelity or Vanguard than the U.S. Treasury.
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by grapesofwrath » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:36 am

I would think Treasury Direct is safer than Vanguard/Schwab/Fidelity because it has virtually no customer service.
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ochotona
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by ochotona » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:21 pm

grapesofwrath wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:36 am
I would think Treasury Direct is safer than Vanguard/Schwab/Fidelity because it has virtually no customer service.
Interesting perspective. I've gone round and round in my head on this matter, and I think if you use the 2FA (I send 2FA emails to Hotmail), and if you vigorously defend said 2FA channel (I use 2FA on my 2FA, and it ain't a phone, it's an authenticator app), and if you change the password every once in a while (16 characters for me, upper / lower / numbers /symbols), and if you print out proof of ownership, you won't have problems.
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by jacksonm2 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:35 pm

grapesofwrath wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:36 am
I would think Treasury Direct is safer than Vanguard/Schwab/Fidelity because it has virtually no customer service.
Exactly my point but we apparently see things in reverse as to whether or not that is a good thing.
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by ochotona » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:00 pm

jacksonm2 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:35 pm
grapesofwrath wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:36 am
I would think Treasury Direct is safer than Vanguard/Schwab/Fidelity because it has virtually no customer service.
Exactly my point but we apparently see things in reverse as to whether or not that is a good thing.
Each way to keep cash has different risk. Money in the bank, money in T-Bills is exposed to negative interest rate risk! And risk of bank default and FDIC is not sufficiently funded.

It's wise to spread your risks around. Don't avoid I-Bonds because they have some risk, use them because they have risk which aren't like the risks you face in other places.
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by jhogue » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:22 pm

Exactly.
Just as in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, it will be impossible in advance to predict where, when, and how the next liquidity crisis will strike. The point of holding T-bills in a brokerage, I bonds in a safe deposit box or TreasuryDirect account, and a stash of greenbacks somewhere nearby is to diversify your Cash holdings before that moment comes when liquidity seems to be evaporating everywhere.

I sleep better at night knowing I have spread the risk around.
“Groucho Marx wrote:
A stock trader asked him, "Groucho, where do you put all your money?" Groucho was said to have replied, "In Treasury bonds", and the trader said, "You can't make much money on those." Groucho said, "You can if you have enough of them!"
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by vnatale » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:58 pm

ochotona wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:21 pm
grapesofwrath wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:36 am
I would think Treasury Direct is safer than Vanguard/Schwab/Fidelity because it has virtually no customer service.
Interesting perspective. I've gone round and round in my head on this matter, and I think if you use the 2FA (I send 2FA emails to Hotmail), and if you vigorously defend said 2FA channel (I use 2FA on my 2FA, and it ain't a phone, it's an authenticator app), and if you change the password every once in a while (16 characters for me, upper / lower / numbers /symbols), and if you print out proof of ownership, you won't have problems.
1. I assume that you'd consider printing to a PDF and saving it would be equivalent to "proof of ownership"?
2. If so, Is it impossible for someone to create a fake document that looks real? If possible then that reason could make all documents not acceptable as proof of ownership? Also, how can you prove that no activity on your part had not occurred subsequent to the date of your document?

Vinny
Last edited by vnatale on Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by technovelist » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:48 am

jhogue wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:22 pm
Exactly.
Just as in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, it will be impossible in advance to predict where, when, and how the next liquidity crisis will strike. The point of holding T-bills in a brokerage, I bonds in a safe deposit box or TreasuryDirect account, and a stash of greenbacks somewhere nearby is to diversify your Cash holdings before that moment comes when liquidity seems to be evaporating everywhere.

I sleep better at night knowing I have spread the risk around.
That's great except that you don't mention gold, which is actually a form of cash too.
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ochotona
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by ochotona » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:05 am

vnatale wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:58 pm
ochotona wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:21 pm
Interesting perspective. I've gone round and round in my head on this matter, and I think if you use the 2FA (I send 2FA emails to Hotmail), and if you vigorously defend said 2FA channel (I use 2FA on my 2FA, and it ain't a phone, it's an authenticator app), and if you change the password every once in a while (16 characters for me, upper / lower / numbers /symbols), and if you print out proof of ownership, you won't have problems.
1. I assume that you'd consider printing to a PDF and saving it would be equivalent to "proof of ownership"?
2. If so, Is it impossible for someone to create a fake document that looks real? If possible then that reason could make all documents not acceptable as proof of ownership? Also, how can you prove that no activity on your part had not occurred subsequent to the date of your document?

Vinny

The PDF is just the best any of us can do. Of course I have no way of knowing if the Treasury Department would accept it. These are unknowables.
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by jhogue » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:50 am

technovelist wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:48 am
jhogue wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:22 pm
Exactly.
Just as in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, it will be impossible in advance to predict where, when, and how the next liquidity crisis will strike. The point of holding T-bills in a brokerage, I bonds in a safe deposit box or TreasuryDirect account, and a stash of greenbacks somewhere nearby is to diversify your Cash holdings before that moment comes when liquidity seems to be evaporating everywhere.

I sleep better at night knowing I have spread the risk around.
That's great except that you don't mention gold, which is actually a form of cash too.
I would agree that gold can be a medium of exchange and remains a store of wealth without peer in global history. That certainly makes it similar in some respects to the STTs under discussion above.

But the gold in your avatar is certainly not Treasury-issued debt, nor does it bear a fixed nominal rate of interest, nor does it come with a “full faith and credit” guarantee from the US government. That doesn’t make gold bad—just a different kind of asset.
“Groucho Marx wrote:
A stock trader asked him, "Groucho, where do you put all your money?" Groucho was said to have replied, "In Treasury bonds", and the trader said, "You can't make much money on those." Groucho said, "You can if you have enough of them!"
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Re: Treasury Direct account security discussion at Bogleheads

Post by vnatale » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:23 pm

ochotona wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:17 pm
This is not good. Not at all. I-Bonds are cool, but I can do without them at the end of the day. I have too many accounts, would be helpful to get rid of one.

Here I am, with Schwab and Fidelity accounts that use reasonably modern continuously rotating six-digit additional security codes, and 2FA, and nice security guarantees, and there's just no excuse for putting up with TreasuryDirect's sub-standard customer service. Even if they have cool little security (::: cry :::).
How do they get these codes to you? And, are they separate or part of the two factor authorization?

When I log into Vanguard I get a phone call from them giving me each time a different six-digit code which I then use as part of my two factor authorization.

As part of my job in doing online business with one of our banks they have supplied ne with a fob with a rotating eight-digit code (that I add the same four more digits to) whenever I log in. And, then it immediately sends back to me on that fob a four digit verification code. I'm sure the device does not draw much power but the battery is quite long lived as I've been using it for at least two years, maybe three with no battery replacement.

Vinny
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