What an ordeal, Treasury Direct
February 26, 2009
As I whined on Twitter, thus shall I whine here about the conversion of my paper bonds to electronic bonds:
1. Treasury Direct’s log-in process is not unlike physically accessing a sealed vault, complete with codes on access cards, little remembered clues to the password you can no longer remember, and a virtual keyboard that doesn’t obscure a single thing.
2. I am just as much of a dolt. My idea of a password hint? A string of words that rely on free association and a particularly on-point pop-culture memory. *shaking head* Honestly. I can hardly remember my name or the name of my company these days. The worst part was that as I reset the password, the last word I couldn’t work out finally made sense. Dangit!
3. The conversion involves opening a Treasury Direct account. That took three weeks. I couldn’t log in without my Access Code/Master Key card, after all.
4. Skip 17 months in which I completely forget about the card, the bond, the account and the password. [This step is optional, for the not completely dumb.]
5. Open a linked conversion account. Don’t register yourself as an owner of a something-or-other twice. Upon registering twice, don’t try to delete your original registration, it won’t stand for that kind of behavior. Delete the second one. (Can you tell the difference? I couldn’t.)
6. Register your bond by entering the serial number and issue date. This also shouldn’t be as difficult as my brain made it out to be. If you have many bonds, do it all at once, up to 50.
7. Create a manifest. There’s a button that allows the site to do this for you, actually.
8. Print and sign the manifest, keeping a copy for yourself, drop in mail with your unsigned paper bond.
9. The conversion should take three weeks. They will not notify you in any way of the completed transaction but are probably still more trustworthy than those Cash4Gold guys who also ask you to drop your valuables in an envelope and post it to them. After all, their website is a virtual Fort Knox. Ok, that doesn’t prove anything at all, but it’s worth reiterating.