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U.S. Treasury notes and bonds have a good track record as a long-term investment.

As with any investment, however, individuals should learn about the pros and cons of government securities before adding them to their portfolios.

Several websites offer good primers on government bonds. Here are a few:

Bankrate.com: Provides information about U.S. Treasury bills, TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) and U.S. Savings Bonds. bankrate.com/brm/green/sav/svgs1e.asp

Bonds Online: Explains the government bond purchase system and the purchase and selling of bonds. bondsonline.com/asp/treas/direct.asp

Investopedia: Offers overview of bonds in general, including Treasury bonds, notes and T-bills. investopedia.com/university/bonds/bonds4.asp

Treasury Direct: Serves up a variety of details about purchasing Treasury bonds, and bond types. savingsbonds.gov/indiv/indiv.htm