Treasury Strips

Definition / Meaning

Treasury strips, simply put, is stripping of a bond’s expected cash flow into individual bonds. Assume, there is a 5-year bond having face value of $10,000 bond that pays 6% coupons paid annually. There are a total of 6 coupon payments including 5 interest payments and 1 face value payment. Each of these payments is stripped / converted into 7 zero coupon bonds. Each such bond is called strips and since these are issued by U.S. government, they are called treasury strips.

In Treasury Strips, the word STRIPS stands for Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities. The literal meaning of stripping applies here i.e. it strips a bond into several bonds each having separate par value. This process of stripping is called coupon stripping.


When the U.S. citizens used to invest in TIGR by Merrill Lynch and CATS by U.S. government, treasury strips came into picture and the former became obsolete.


Take the same example as in definition. You can see in the below mentioned table that bond is stripped into various bonds with different FV and Maturity Date. The face value is equal to the coupon value and the maturity date is same as the coupon payment date.

Bonds Details:

Maturity = 5-year from 1st of Jan 2017

Face Value = $1,000

Coupon Rate = 6% paid annually

Treasury Stips

Calculate Returns

The calculation of return on TREASURY STRIPS becomes quite simple like stock trading. The formula for calculation can be as simple as follows:

If the bond is sold before maturity,

Return = Trading Value – Purchase Price.

If the bond is hold till maturity,

Return = Face Value – Purchase Price.

Treasury Strips Characteristics

Following are the characteristics of a treasury bonds.

  1. It is a type of zero coupon bond categorized under fixed income securities.
  2. It matures at face value and issued at a significant discount.
  3. There are no interest payments.
  4. Pay-out known in advance with maturity date
  5. Need to pay federal income tax on bond’s accretion whether received in cash or not.
  6. Can be purchased from financial institutions, brokers, etc but not directly from treasury.
  7. Considered safe because they are backed by government.
  8. Easy to invest as there is smaller chunk of money invested.
  9. Minimum 10 year bonds are eligible for stripping
Last updated on : January 6th, 2018
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