CATS are US Treasury zero-coupon bonds that are sold at deep discount to par, or face value. Like other zeros, the interest isn't actually paid during the bond's term but accumulates so that you receive face value at maturity.
You can use CATS in your long-term portfolio to provide money for college tuition or retirement. For example, you may purchase them in a tax-deferred IRA or a tax-free Roth IRA or Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA).
As with other zeros, CATS prices can be volatile, so you risk losing some of your principal if you sell before maturity. And like other federal government issues, the interest is free of state and local income tax but subject to federal income tax.
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