Are you one of the few who despite the financial turmoil has been able to save some cash? Do you have cash on hand because you sold the rest of your stock or mutual fund portfolio after watching it drop? If the answer is yes, I have one question for you, what are you going to do with it? With the stock markets down 40% or more, investing and making your savings grow has become a challenge. A safe investment for your money would be Certificates of Deposit or CD.
A CD is actually commonly called “time deposit”. A certificate of deposit is somewhat similar to a regular saving account but with a twist. Unlike a savings account where you are free to withdraw anytime (up to 6 withdrawals per month, Certificate of deposits have fixed terms.
There are tons of CD terms, 1 month to 3 months or more, some terms are as long as 10 years. During this time, you can’t withdraw your money, but you are guaranteed to earn fixed interest rate that’s much higher than a traditional savings account rate.
The rule of the thumb is, the longer the term, the higher the interest rate. Certificate of deposits are offered by banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions. Your deposit is safe as it is insured by FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor.
If you are planning to invest in a CD there are tons of online resources to find the best CD rate.
Here is a small sample of current CD rates.
1. You can earn 2.40% on your deposit for a 1 month CD. The minimum deposit is $10,000.
2. Another bank offers as much 4.27% for a 12 month CD. There is a $500 minimum deposit for this provider.
3. For a deposit of $10,000 in a 5 year CD, you can earn up to 5.02%.
4. A seven month Certificate of Deposit (CD) currently yields 4.11%. This special rate is a promotional online CD rate and the minimum opening balance is $5,000.”
5. GMAC Bank is offering a 3 month CD rate of 3.15% with an annual percentage yield of 3.25%. The rate is for balances of $500 or more. The penalty for early withdrawal for a 3 month certificate of deposit is 90 days of interest, basically all the interest you would have earned so be sure that you won’t need your funds before locking in this CD.
So be sure you won’t need access to your money when you invest in a certificate of deposit. If you are unsure when you might need access to your fund it’s better to invest in only short term CDs, like a 1 to 3 months CD, instead of a longer term CD.
Certificate of Deposits allow you to earn easy money without risking your hard earned savings. However, I have a piece of advise for you, since financial institutions require that you don’t withdraw your money for the duration of the Certificate of deposit term, you must deposit only the amount that you won’t need during the term’s duration. Otherwise, instead of earning interest, you will lose some of your interest earned because banks charge a penalty for early withdrawal.